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Ghana Polls: Candidates in last-minutes offensive

BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE with agency report

…•Rawlings, Kuffuor raise stakes
TWENTY FOURS to Ghana’s historic fifth successive presidential and parliamentary elections,  the eight presidential candidates and 1,332 parliamentary candidates fighting for the 275 seats on offer staged last-minutes offensives to have the upper hand at the polls.

This is coming as the Ghanaian police hammered out a “five layer security force” to ensure a peaceful general election tomorrow and the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) assured that it was battle ready for the exercise, it is spending about $480 million to conduct.

The presidential candidates, who on Tuesday demonstrated their commitment to uphold the nation’s peace and stability by vowing not to do anything to trigger electoral violence, impunity and injustice, held ralies at various locations yesterday.

The presidential flagbearers are President John Dramani Mahama, the National Democratic Congress (NDC); Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, New Patriotic Party (NPP); Dr Henry Lartey, the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP);  Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Progressive People’s Party (PPP); Mr Akwasi Addai, United Front Party (UFP); Mr Hassan Ayariga, People’s National Convention (PNC); Dr Abu Sakara Foster, Convention People’s Party (CPP);  and Mr Joseph Osei Yeboah, an independent.

Mr. Nana Akufo-Ado of the National Patriotic Party, (NPP) & John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress

Parties rally support in final mammoth rallies

The two major political parties-National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party on Wednesday rounded up years and months of political campaigns ahead of tomorrow’s crucial election.

Both parties chose the centre of Accra-the Accra International Trade Fair Centre for the NDC and the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park for the NPP as venues for the rallies as  the capital city was awash with colours and paraphernalia of the two leading parties with cars- private and commercial- honking.

Rawlings, Kufuor take sides

To ensure their parties won the ballot, former Presidents – Jerry Rawlings and John Kufuor have thrown their weights behind the candidates of their rival parties. While Rawlings endorsed Mahama of the NDC, Kufuor said Akufo-Addo would have the upper hand.

NDC can’t do the work, Akufo-Addo

Kufuor said the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) had demonstrated it lacked the capacity to rule the nation by its failure to implement even a single policy beneficial to Ghanaians.

He said many of the projects the government was touting as achievements today were started during his term in office when the NPP drew up plans and secured funding for the implementation of major developmental projects.

Mahama is winnable candidate – Rawlings

On his part,  Rawlingsexpressed confidence in President John Mahama as a winnable candidate for the NDC in the Presidential election.

“I know people have been asking and worrying about what is perceived as me not endorsing John Mahama but that is not the case. What is even more interesting is that I saw President Mahama as a winnable candidate as far back as 2004. To be quite honest had the Prof. picked him as his running-mate, history wouldn’t have been the same.”

We’re battle-ready – EC

Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, yesterday affirmed that Friday’s historic parliamentary and presidential elections wouldl come on as scheduled and every eligible voter must cast his or her vote on that day.

Dr Afari-Gyan told the Ghana News Agency in a telephone interview that everything was set for the polls.

The EC Chairman said the voting procedures remained the same. “The voting pattern is transparent and at each point of the process there is an identifiable glaring system, which would make it impossible for anyone to cheat. The result of any polling station where the number of votes cast would exceed the number of registered voters would be cancelled.”


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