General News Thu, 6 Oct 2016

Gunshots mar vote transfer in Northern Region

The ongoing transfer of votes exercise being conducted by the Electoral Commission (EC) has recorded another incident of violence in the Northern Region.

Reports indicate that some students of the University of Development Studies who went to the offices of the EC to have their votes transferred were intimidated by gun-wielding men who prevented them from undertaking the exercise on Thursday October 6.

Some of the students claimed the attackers issued threats to kill them if they went ahead to vote on December 7.

One of the students said she “saw some men in cars coming this way as we queued and waited to be served by the EC officials and all we realised were two men coming towards us with a pinch bar and sticks and shouting, ‘If you value your lives, stay in your university and learn’”.

The students also indicated that they had endured various forms of frustrations from the Electoral Commission in order to transfer their vote.

"We have been here for the past four days and the EC gives us one excuse or the other. ... The last time, it took them three days to file the nomination of those who were contesting the election. Today we are here again in the morning and the forms are not here and all these things have affected our schedule as students,” a disgruntled student told Joy FM.

Meanwhile, Police from the Northern Regional Command have been deployed to the area to ensure peace.

The latest violence follows a similar incident in Chereponi also in the Northern Region where several people on Tuesday were injured in free-for-all clashes between supporters of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the transfer exercise.

The violence started after the NPP supporters attempted resisting the vote transfer of some NDC members who had been transported to the area.

The NPP supporters accused the NDC members and the EC officials of being up to no good.

The NPP supporters said they could not understand why the EC failed to transfer the votes of their colleagues with the excuse that they had run out of materials but allegedly proceeded with the registration of the NDC members.

The disagreement degenerated into skirmishes with both sides hurling crude missiles at each other resulting in injuries. Two of the critically injured supporters are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.
Source: Class FM
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