Friday, December 31, 2010


CONFUSION and disappointment characterised the district level elections in the Ashanti Region as voting in a number of electoral areas could not come off as scheduled.
This was attributed to the unavailability of ballot papers, and defective ballot papers in some areas.
Only three areas, Bantama, Ahafo Ano South and Bosome Freho had their elections held in all electoral areas.
Electoral areas in nine constituencies did not have their elections at all.
They were Amansie West, Atwima Nwabiagya, Kwadaso, Nhyiaeso, Manhyia, Asante Akim South, Asante Akim North, Sekyere Afram Plains and Ahafo Ano North.
Elections only took place in some electoral areas in 24 out of the 35 constituencies of the region.
In Adansi South, elections took place in 32 out of 41 electoral areas; Adansi North, 35 out of 43; Obuasi, 35 out of 38 Bekwai, 33 out of 34; Amansie Central, 19 out of 38, and Atwima Mponua, 18 out of 38.
Others were Bosomtwe, 31 out of 35 electoral area; Atwima Kwanwoma, 29 out of 33; Subin, 7 out of 9; Old Tafo, 7 out of 8; Suame, 5 out of 9; Asokwa, 8 out of 12; Oforikrom, 13 out of 15, Asawase, 6 out of 10; Kwabre East, 15 out of 31, and Amansie West, 24 out of 53.
The rest included Ejisu Juaben, 11 out of 47 electoral areas; Sekyere East, 23 out of 25; Mampong, 29 out of 33; Ejura Sekyedumase, 39 out of 43; Sekyere South, 32 out of 34; Offinso Municipal, 27 out of 30, and Afigya Kwabre, 23 out of 42.
Turn out was generally not encouragingin areas in Kumaai where voting took place.
At the Asafo Zion polling station, only 49 people had voted out of the 1,73, registered voters as at 9.50 a.m.
A Deputy Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Isaac Owusu, told the Daily Graphic that the regional office of the EC went out with the late announcement on the postponement of the elections in some areas because they had earlier had firm assurance that the ballot papers would be delivered.
“We sent vehicles to Accra to bring down the ballot papers but still now, the vehicles are still in Accra,” he said, adding that prospective voters would be notified of the new date for the elections when the ballot papers were delivered.
The EC had given firm assurance Monday evening that all was set for the elections in the region but it was not until this morning that voters were told the elections had been postponed in many areas because ballot papers were unavailable.
Indeed, many people had gone to the polling centres in a bid to vote only to be told of the postponement.
Meanwhile, patronage of the district level elections in Kumasi was generally low at the polling centres, reports Collins Agyekum-Gyasi from Kumasi.
The Daily Graphic found at some centres that the level of enthusiasm was too low due to the change in the date.
At the polling centre at the AME Zion Primary School, Kumasi, out of 1,171 registered voters, 152 had voted as of 9:12 a.m.
The Presiding Officer, Mr Peter Anayitime, was, however, hopeful that by the close of the exercise, majority of them would have exercised their franchise.
He attributed the slowness of the whole exercise to its non-partisan nature.
There were no queues at other polling centres but officials expressed optimism that the turnout would be encouraging by the close of the exercise.
At Atonsu Bokro, the officials confirmed the low patronage as only 15 people had cast their votes one hour after voting started.

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