Story: News Desk
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has commended the Electoral Commission (EC), the Ghana Police Service, and the electorates in the Assin North constituency of the Central Region for their collective efforts in ensuring that the by-election was largely peaceful.
According to the coalition, each stakeholder effectively played its role which led to the success of the by-election.
In a press release the National Coordinator of CODEO, Albert Kofi Arhin said “CODEO would like to commend the Electoral Commission, the Ghana Police Service and the electorates for ensuring a largely peaceful by-election which was fully concluded after the winning candidate was declared.
“CODEO acknowledges that the conduct of the polls was consistent with the general rules and regulations which was adhered to by the polling officials. In addition, there were no shortage of materials and the biometric verification devices functioned well to very a large extent without any significant disruptions to the polls in any of the observed polling stations.”
Although the statement said the election was largely peaceful, CODEO acknowledged there were a few instances where violence almost erupted, but for the timely intervention of the police.
The release made reference to an incident at the Methodist Primary School 2 polling station in Breku, where a journalist from Adom TV was confronted by a purported executive of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for interviewing electorates who were in a queue to vote.
Again in Breku, two electorates were apprehended for taking a snapshot of the ballot paper after voting. They claimed that an unidentified individual had tasked them to take a picture of the marked ballot as proof in return for a monetary reward.
CODEO said there was also an incident where a convoy of vehicles with NPP occupants, accompanied by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Antwi Bosiako (Chairman Wontumi), pursued a vehicle occupied by NDC supporters from a different polling station to D/C Primary School in Praso which resulted in parts of the NDC vehicle being damaged, resulting in commotion and disturbance along the roadside.
The June 28 statement stressed that although each incident was skillfully handled by the police, the incidents must be investigated and offenders brought to book.
“CODEO condemns the violent incident which occurred in the constituency and nearly blotted the elections. On this note, the Coalition calls on the Ghana Police Service to urgently investigate the incident and prosecute all persons found culpable to serve as a deterrent,” it added.
James Gyakye Quayson of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will be making a return to Parliament after his constituents kept faith with him and helped him win the keenly contested Assin North constituency by-election on Tuesday.
Mr Quayson, who was ejected from Parliament last month following a Supreme Court decision annulling the 2020 constituency election, won the closely contested by-election with 17,245 votes representing 57.56% of valid votes.
Ahead of the June 27 by-election, CODEO deployed 15 observers in fulfillment of its mandate to mobilise citizens of Ghana to actively participate in the electoral process and to complement the efforts of the Electoral Commission in ensuring transparent, free, fair, and peaceful elections.