Many residents in the Ahafo area of the Brong Ahafo region cannot find their voter ID cards to take part in the ongoing referendum that will allow for a new region to be carved from the current Brong Ahafo Region.
A local reporter with Goaso-based Success FM, Atiewen Mohammed told Kwame Minkah on Ete Sen on Radio XYZ 93.1 Thursday morning that although the turn out was encouraging, “many people were complaining of their missing ID cards” in the constituencies he visited.
Mohammed said the situation was almost the same when he visited Asunafo South and some parts of the Asutifi North and South constituencies.
“In this area, nobody is campaigning for people to vote NO at the referendum. they are all singing YES, YES as they head to the polling stations,” reported Mohammed.
The Constitutional threshold requires that at least 50 per cent of the eligible voters must cast their votes at the referendum and of the votes cast, 80 per cent must be in favour of the proposed creation of the new regions.
Those voting are to tick Yellow for the YES vote on their ballot paper and those opposed shall mark brown as a NO vote.
Speaking to Kwame Minkah, host of Ete Sen on Radio XYZ 93.1, Prince Nyarko, a leader for ‘YES’ campaign group in the area said the turn out was overwhelming, especially at Sankore, Nobekaw and Kukuom in the Asunafo South Constituency.
“Right now, I’m at Sankore and the people I have seen in queues to vote are many. We did not expect the people to turn out in their numbers like what I have seen,” he disclosed.
Early this month, the traditional rulers in Ahafo, in a joint statement, banned commercial activities on the day of referendum in order to get massive support from the people in their quest to get a new region which is to be known as Ahafo region.
Apart from the proposed Ahafo region, there is also a proposal to carve Bono East from the existing Brong Ahafo Region. Other proposed regions are Western North from the exizting Western Region, Savannah and North East from the Northern Region and Oti Region from the Volta Region.
Voting has began this morning in 47 districts of the carved areas for the proposed six new regions in the country.
A total of 2,260,724 voters are expected to exercise their franchise from 7am to 5pm. Security has been provided across the 4,798 polling stations.
According to the Electoral Commission (EC), 19, 454 officials are supervising the process. It has also debunked claims about an injunction against the exercise in the proposed Oti region.
“The associated ballot colour for Yes on each ballot paper is yellow and that of No is brown. Registered voters within the proposed regions are to thumbprint in the portion provided on each ballot paper by voting Yes or No and not both,” the Electoral Commission said in an earlier statement.
Regional Returning Officers of the six proposed areas are expected to add up all results of the districts in a particular carved area and declare the results of the referendum at the Regional Referendum Centre.
No major incident was recorded during the Special voting last Monday, except complaints about accreditation.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has also deployed 50 observers across the districts with keen interest in potential flash points.
This is in line with it’s objective of promoting electoral transparency, accountability and credibility towards peaceful outcomes.
According to CODEO, its observers will visit various polling stations within their assigned districts, paying attention to key electoral processes such as the setting-up and opening of polls, verification and voting processes, close-of-polls and counting processes, as well as results collation.
Observers will also focus on the conduct of election officials and other stakeholders including, security personnel and voters.
CODEO has , therefore, called on all stakeholders particularly, the Electoral Commission (EC), security agencies, traditional authorities, the media and various campaigners to play their relevant roles towards the success of the process.
It has called on the EC to ensure all arrangements put in place for the exercise are adequate and ensure free, fair and credible election outcomes.
CODEO also calls on the security agencies to ensure all voters exercise their right in a peaceful atmosphere. To traditional leaders and the various campaigners on the referendum question, CODEO urges calm and the respect of individual rights and differences.
CODEO will subsequently share with the public, its observation findings on the exercise.
Source: Ghana/ myxyzonline.com