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Pockets Of Violence Hit Assembly Elections   
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Pockets of violence and incidents of intimation characterised yesterday’s District Level Elections in some parts of the country.

Seen as a dress rehearsal for the 2016 elections, observers believe that if systems are not properly put in place by the Electoral Commission of Ghana, the country would have to contend with a major electoral crisis in the general elections in 2016.

Voting in certain parts of the country was disrupted by angry youth who went on rampage contesting the last-minute disqualification of their preferred candidates. In other places, voting was suspend entirely due to security concerns of possible violence should voting be allowed to take place.

As of noon yesterday, a polling station in Maamobi in Accra did not have a single official to open the polls for voters who were already in a queue to cast their votes.

In the Kenyase-West Electoral Area in the Kwabre District of the Ashanti Region, elections were totally suspended because one candidate contesting a unit committee position could not find his name on the ballot.

Some supporters of the candidates insisted they should be allowed to cast their ballots for their assembly member while the Electoral Commission rectified the problem concerning the unit committee member, but that request was not granted.

The situation angered the electorates and the aspiring assembly members, who complained that they had spent fortunes to get their supporters to the polling stations to cast their votes.

But for the timely intervention of the police personnel manning the polls, the youth would have vented their anger on the polling station officials who had insisted the elections be suspended.

Other reports indicate that at the West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region, voting was suspended as names, positions and pictures of candidates on the ballot papers were said to have been misrepresented.

In the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga, the elections were put on hold because of heavy rains.

Mr Albert Arhin, co-ordinator for the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), who monitored the conduct of the elections across the country, said although there were some incidents of harassment and intimidation, which disrupted the process in some places, the coalition’s assessment indicates that the arrangement put in place by the EC for set up and opening of polls was adequate.

He told The Finder that “procedurally, everything had gone on well” with the conduct of the elections.

He said 87% of polling stations across the country had opened by 8am yesterday.

In all, a total of 40,000 security personnel drawn from the various security agencies were deployed nationwide to ensure that the elections are peaceful.
Source: The Finder

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