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The African Elections Project :  your authoritative African Elections Information and Knowledge online portal, covering elections across the continent

Projecto Eleições Africanas: seu portal autorizado para informação e conhecimento sobre Eleições Africanas. Cobrindo eleições por toda Áfrca.

Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
Date:07 Dec 2016
Polls Open #GhanaElections: Voters elect a President to lead Ghana for the Next 4 years

Polls are open for over 15million eligible voters to select a president and members of parliament in Ghana elections 2016. Voting started at peacefully 7pm across all the designated 28, 992 polling centres across the country with few delays reported in some polling centres.

Queues could start forming by midnight in some polling centres as eligible voters look to secure prime spots. There are reported cases of long queues in the Ashanti, Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo and the Western Regions of Ghana.

Turnout for the last general elections was 79,43 percent and this could be repeated although some analysts suspect turnout may be lower this year, judging from the level of political campaign activity and participation of electorates.

Today’s elections will be the seventh in the country’s fourth republic and Seven candidates are in the race for the job of the president. They are the incumbent John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ivor Kwabena Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), and Dr. Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC). There rest are Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP) and Jacob Osei Yeboah an independent candidate.

Hot contest

The 2016 election is a hotly contested one with many analysts suggesting that it is the most issue based contest in the country so far. The issues border on employment, transforming the economy, education, corruption, infrastructure development among others.


Key campaign issues
Top on the campaign issues this year, is jobs. The two main parties are promising to create jobs if they win, targeting youth unemployment. The strongest trump card by the opposition against the government is the issue of corruption pointing to several alleged corruption scandals while the incumbent is campaigning based on the various infrastructure projects undertaken.

The EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson Charlotte Osei in a last press conference ahead of the votes charged polling agents to take their role in Wednesday's presidential and parliamentary elections seriously. “Polling agents have a key role to play in securing the integrity of the elections and must do so devoid of dissension”

Electoral challenges
Voters are expected to queue from the early hours of tomorrow before polls open at 7am. The major challenge that confronted voting in the last general elections was the malfunctioning of some biometric verification devices compelling voting to be extended into a second day in some polling stations. That was the first time Ghana used the biometric verification machines. To cure this challenge, the Commission has promised to provide at least a spare device at each polling centre.

There was early voting on Thursday December 1, for people expected to be playing various roles on the election day itself. They included security personnel, journalists, election observers and electoral officers. The special voting was not without incidents as many complained that they could not find their names on the register prepared for the early voting leading to a second day of voting on Sunday, December 4.
There are concerns that the challenges that fraught the early voting may extend to the main polls. However the Chair of the Commission, has in a press conference assured the public their preparedness for a smooth, free and fair elections.

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