General News Sat, 7 Aug 2010

NPP goes to the polls to elect a Flag bearer

Accra, Aug. 7, GNA - Over 113,000 delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would cast their votes in a historic election on Saturday, August 7, throughout 228 polling stations to elect a Flag bearer for Election 2012 after a gruelling electioneering campaign among five aspirants.

The aspirants are; Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Former Chief Executive Officer of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital; Mr. Isaac Osei, Member of Parliament for Subin and Former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).

Others are; Mr. John Kwame Kodua, a Kumasi-based legal practitioner; Mr. John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Former Minister of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiatives and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, NPP Presidential Candidate for Election 2008.

Some political analysts have narrowed the contest down to two- the party's Presidential Candidate for Election 2008, Nana Akufo-Addo and the runner-up in the congress that elected him, Mr. Kyerematen, an affable gentleman, but Prof. Frimpong-Boateng is expected to cause a stir and probably push the contest into a second round.

Polling would start at 0800 hours and end at 1500 hours; it may be extended due technical reasons. The Electoral Commission expects all results to be declared within three hours.

Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, NPP National Chairman told Ghana News Agency that the voting pattern would be transparent and at each point of the voting process, there would be an identifiable glaring system, which would make it impossible for any one to cheat.

He said the result of any polling station where the number of votes cast exceeds the number of registered voters would be cancelled.

Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey urged the aspirants, their representatives and the media to avoid making wild allegations about imagined electoral fraud and suspicions because one would not get things done in anyone's favour.

Mr. Albert Kofi Arhin, EC Director of Elections, told GNA in an interview that the rules governing national elections would be applied.

A person commits an offence of bribery if he/she gives or receives, or causes to be given or receive, money, a gift, a loan or something of value as a means of inducing a person to vote or not to vote in a certain way.

A person commits the offence of multiple voting if he/she votes or attempts to vote more than once at the same election, a person commits the offence of undue influence if he/she personally or through an agent uses or threatens to use force, violence or restraint against a person, inflicts or threatens to inflict temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss to a person

Mr. Arhin reminded the delegates that all election offences were punishable and offenders would be liable on conviction to a fine, imprisonment or both.

He said according to arrangements with NPP officials agents of aspirants would be allowed at polling stations to observe proceedings.

Presiding Officers in-charge of polling stations would inspect the ballot papers in the presence of the agents, enter the total number, show the ballot boxes to the public to ascertain that they are empty and then place them in the open for voting.

He said every voter in the queue at the polling stations at the close of polls at 1500 hours would be allowed to vote. Counting of ballots cast would start immediately after the last voter had cast his or her vote.

At the close of poll, the Presiding Officer would open the ballot box in the presence of agents of aspirants and any other persons who would wish to witness the counting from a reasonable distance.

He said the Presiding Officer would sort out ballots cast in favour of each aspirant, count them one by one to the hearing of those present and once everybody was satisfied, record it on the Result Form.

The Presiding Officer would sign the form while the agents certified that the results were correct.

He would then publicly announce the results and signed copies would be given to the party or agents of the aspirants.

Source: GNA