Millions of Ghanaians will go to the polls on Monday to elect their president and 275 members of parliament.
The election is the eighth consecutive election since the country returned to multi-party democracy in 1992.
There are 12 presidential candidates and 914 parliamentary hopefuls on the ballot and voting will be done in 38,622 polling stations across the 16 regions.
The presidential candidates include the incumbent, Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party; John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress; Christian Andrews of the Ghana Union Movement; Ivor Greenstreet, Convention People’s Party; Akua Donkor, Ghana Freedom Party; and Henry Lartey, Great Consolidated Popular Party.
READ ALSO: INTERVIEW: GhanaDecides: I’ll stop importation of petrol if elected Ghana President – David Apasera
The rest are Hassan Ayariga, All People’s Congress; Percival Akpaloo, Liberal Party of Ghana; David Apasera, People’s National Convention; Brigitte Dzogbenuku, Progressive People’s Party; Nana Agyeman-Rawlings, National Democratic Party; and Alfred Walker, an independent candidate.
But the two front runners remain President Akufo-Addo and former president Mahama. The two candidates had also squared up four years ago when the latter was the incumbent president.
Ahead of the election, security agencies embarked on a show of force across major cities in the capital.
During his nationwide address on Sunday night, Mr Akufo-Addo emphasised that “improper behaviour by any citizen, no matter the colour of the party, will not be tolerated.”
On Monday, voting is expected to begin at 7 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.
The Ghana Electoral Commission promised to announce the winner of the presidential election within 24 hours of the close of voting.
PREMIUM TIMES is in Accra to provide live coverage of the election. Follow @premiumtimesng on Twitter and Premium Times on Facebook for live updates. Also, follow @dubawaGH and Dubawa on Twitter and Facebook respectively for live fact-checking of election day claims.
Good morning everyone and welcome to PREMIUM TIMES’ live coverage of the 2020 Ghana General Election. It’s 26 degrees Celsius this morning in Accra, and a few people are already going about their normal businesses in spite of the holiday declared by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Talking about Mr Akufo Addo, he’ll be voting in his native Kyebi in the Eastern Region, about 90 kilometres from the capital, Accra.
It’s 6.30 a.m. and people have already converged on polling stations in the capital, with some reportedly arriving as early as 2 a.m. Voting is expected to begin at 7.
Voting has already started at the Rock of Ages polling station in Kyebi, Eastern Region. The president is expected to cast his ballot here. There is a huge presence of armed security officials.
Electoral officials have marked paints on the ground for voters to maintain social distancing. To vote, the voter (wearing face mask)will wash his or her hands, use the dispenser, and then collect a ballot from the officials.
It’s been a long wait for the president. He is yet to cast his vote at the polling unit inside the Rock of Ages Academy. But the number of voters has increased and a queue is starting to form.
Koffi Akuffo, an educationist, who accompanied his teenage daughter to the polling station said the process has been seamless so far.
“From what I’ve seen so far, we are experiencing a very peaceful election, the atmosphere is very serene. We’ve not heard of any disturbances or chaos anywhere, we are praying to God that it goes on that way.
“Democracy is all about expression of ideas so I don’t see why people should fight over it, that’s the beauty of democracy. This year’s election, the education went down well with the people.
“We must also applaud the EC because when I went to the polling station, from the time my temperature was checked and the time I finished voting, I timed myself, it was 2 mins 45 secs.”
It’s a carnival-like atmosphere outside President Akufo-Addo’s country home. People are camped at the gate singing and dancing. The president and his wife arrived at about 10:15 a.m. and voted in less than 20 minutes.
His convoy then drove to his family house, about 200 metres from the polling station.
At the polling station at MA Experimental Junior High School, voters sit under a shade and await their turn to vote. Out of the 514 registered voters at the polling unit, 235 had voted as of 11:07 a.m. At the primary school arm of the school, 530 voters registered and 221 had voted as of 11:07 a.m. The electoral officer at the unit, Aseidu Thompson, said they have experienced no challenges at that time.
Similarly, “everything is under control” at the polling station at Magistrate Court, Kyebi, where 567 voters were registered. 281 had voted as of 11:43 a.m.
#GhanaDecides: Voters turn out ‘impressive’ in Accra
The turn out of voters in Accra for the presidential and parliamentary elections on Monday has been impressive, several polling units’ presiding officers told PREMIUM TIMES.
Voting started at 7 a.m. in most polling units in the capital and as of 2 p.m., the process has been smooth.
“Since the exercise commenced we have not exercised any problem,” said Owusu Kyei, the presiding officer at Glico Yard B, in Abossey Okai, Accra.
“If you ask me I’ll say we are having a smooth and peaceful registration exercise.”
“Out of the 406 registered voters at the polling unit, 200 have cast their votes so far, as of 2:30 p.m.
“The turn out is very encouraging,” My Kyei added.
At the nearby Glico Yard A, 260 people had cast their votes out of the 407 registered voters, as of 2:30 p.m.
“We started on time, that is 7 o’clock,” Ghansah Emmanuel, the presiding officer.
“We had a little challenge but it was resolved in a short time. A certain woman came but I think the name on the card was different from the name on the register. But she told us that those who were registering made a mistake, they added another name to her name.
“So we cross checked and we typed the bar code then it came on the machine so we verified her and she voted. That’s the only challenge we had had today.”
“There 407 registered voters, so far almost 260 has voted and we are still counting.”
Although several businesses and offices were opened for business on election day, there was free flow of traffic, particularly in areas knowned for bottlenecks.
At the Christ the King School Polling Centre A in Accra, Emmanuel Gyesi, the presiding officer, said more than 200 people of the total 380 registered voters had voted as at 3 p.m.
“The people are coming in their numbers to vote. I think two thirds of the total voters will show up.”
There are four polling stations inside Christ the King School, located opposite Ghana’s Jubilee House. Francis Annang is the presiding officer at Cantonment 1B, inside the school.
“As at the time I got here around 5:30, they’ve already dispatched the materials,” Mr Annang told PREMIUM TIMES.
“The police officer who is in charge here collected the thing on my behalf. When we got here, there were about 60 in a queue waiting for us.”
Voting ended at 5 p.m. at polling stations across Ghana.
At the El Shaddai polling station in Osu Doku, Accra, voters watch while the electoral officers sort the ballot papers.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...