Polls have opened across the country with long queues of voters waiting to cast their ballot in the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Thousands queued hours before polls were due to open, to vote in this highly anticipated elections.
Otec FM’s reporters have been giving updates on how voting started in the various constituencies in Ghana.
Reports reaching otecfmghana from Wassa-Kumasi in the Wassa Amenfi East constituency of the western region indicates that voter materials and election officers arrived in the area after 12 midday and voting has commenced.
A voter at the Dominase D/A primary polling station in the Bekwai constituency cursed military personel who assaulted her and siblings for protesting against an alleged illegal thumb printing of ballot papers by an EC official.
Voters lost their cool when EC officials denied any such wrong doing but had to call on the military to maintain calm in the area and that could not be done without a few drastic measures which resulted in the injuring of two people. Victims of the assault discontinued the voting process.
His Royal Majesty Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, flanked by his chiefs at around 11:15am stepped out to cast his vote at polling station B of the Manyhia palace. Otumfuor was spotted with member of parliament for Manyhia south Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh(Napo) and Ashanti regional police commander, COP Kofi Boakye.
Reports coming in from Jaman north constituency in the Brong Ahafo region indicates that the voting process has been postponed by the electoral commission as a result of a misunderstanding between supporters of the NDC and the EC. There has been allegations of bloating in the voters register but the EC explains that voters who could not vote during the special voting exercise had their names added to the register. According to the district security committee, the atmosphere in the area is too hostile for the process to continue.
Adams Sarfo reports that 8 people were rejected by the biometric verification device at Adujama in the Ahafo Ano south east constituency. There are also alleged reports of violent clashes between supporters of the NPP and NDC at Sabroum which is one of the flashpoints in the Ashanti region.
Otec FM’s reporter, Adu Gyamfi Francis reports that some people had to disguise themsleves as people with disabilities to get the chance to cast their vote and skip the long queue but were caught by EC officers.
Positioning of voting booth coupled with late start of the process also brought a slight misunderstanding at a polling station at Pankrono but the security agencies were present to calm the situation.
About 10 towns in the Bekwai constituency as at 9am were yet to commence the voting process becuse officials and voting materials had not yet arrived after 7am.
At a polling station in the Ahafo Ano north constituency, an old aged man received a dirty slap when confusion broke out at a polling station which had posters of the NPP flag bearer and the NDC polling agent demanded their removal.
At a polling station in the western region (Asikado constituency), voting materials were delayed as at 7am and some voters demanded postponement of the process. According to reports, the ahanta east and west constituencies, as at 7am had not seen election officials and voting materials because of the distance and bad road network.
At kensere and pampamso in the Bekwai contituency, EC officials and voting materials had still not arrived almost 2 hours into the nationwide process.
In the Bosomtwe constituency of the Ashanti region, misunderstandings about which direction the voting booths should face were reported.
There has also been reports of incidents where ballot boxes have been broken into pieces when officers attempted to display them before party agents.
One voter was reportedly rejected by the biometric verification device at the Saume constituency but has been told to come back later to try again.
With a few hours for voting to commence at the various polling stations across the country, some Ghanaian are anxiously keeping vigil in and forming queues hoping to be the first to cast their votes.
According to reports and images received by Otecfmghana, voters have formed queues with any objects they could find including water building blocks.
Queues started early as 11pm Tuesday and about 15million Ghanaians will soon be voting to elect one out of 7 presidential candidates, and 275 parliamentarians.
Allegations and counter allegations are from the NPP and NDC, who are the front runners of the elections.
Voter turnout is likely to be high with few anticipated violence at areas that have been marked as hotdogs.
From previous experience in the coverage of elections, voter material shortage and delays are expected at some centres though the electoral commissioner has promised a smooth process.
Otecfmghana will keep you informed when the results are declared from polling station level to the announcement of the electoral commissioner on who Ghanaians choose to rule our dear nation.
You don’t wanna miss this coverage……Otec 102.9 and Otecfmghana.com.