Vote buying hits Assembly Elections
Some people are reportedly demanding money from contestants in the upcoming district assembly elections in exchange for their votes in some parts of the Ashanti Region.
The incident has come to the notice of the Ashanti Regional boss of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Alhassan Yakubu, who has expressed concern about the development.
“It has come to our attention that in some places the people are demanding money from some of the aspiring assemblymen in exchange for their votes, which is a very bad development,” he revealed.
The district level elections take place across the country on Tuesday, but without the mounting of platforms for aspirants to disseminate their messages to the electorate.
Sources said the EC is facing severe budgetary constraints hence, its inability to carry out most of the responsibilities ahead of tomorrow’s polls, leading to the aspirants doing ‘their own things.’
So far, the police administration has deployed 2,085 officers to all the regions to supervise the elections.
According to Yakubu, the demand for money from the contestants usually happened when the aspiring members embarked on a campaign tour of their various electoral areas to canvass for votes.
“We have reports which indicate that the demand for money normally occurs when the contestants visit the people in their localities to campaign,” Alhassan Yakubu told Otec FM.
The NCCE regional chief admonished the people who are demanding money before they vote to refrain from that behaviour.
He pointed out that assemblymen and women are not paid by the state therefore it is not appropriate for anybody to make financial demands from the contestants before voting.
“Assemblymen and women are not like Members of Parliament (MPs) who are paid by the state, so please don’t make financial demands from them,” he plead, noting that the assembly work is like a sacrificial job.
Alhassan Yakubu also expressed concern about the usual apathy towards district assembly elections in the country, stressing that the assembly polls are equally important so the people should get actively involved.
Lawrence Sarpong, Deputy EC director for Ashanti Region, stated that the Commission had put in place an effective mechanism that would ensure that voters in all the electoral areas under his jurisdiction cast their ballots at the same time on Tuesday.
He disclosed that so far the EC had detected some anomalies on the ballot papers of about five electoral areas in the region, and the necessary steps had already been taken to rectify the situation before Tuesday.
“There was swapping of names and pictures of some candidates on the ballot papers in about five electoral areas in the region when the electoral materials were handed over to us,” he declared on Kessben Fm.