Northern regional executives of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have expressed worry at the high number of rejected ballots recorded at Saturday’s polls to elect its flagbearer for the 2016 general elections.
Though voting went on peacefully in the region as planned, the executives are disturbed that most of its polling station executives had difficulty in voting properly, stressing that the situation requires urgent attention.
About 314 ballots, representing 2.5% of the total votes cast at 31 polling stations in the region, were rejected for various reasons during counting at the close of polls.
In all, over 1000 ballots were declared invalid. This figure outnumbered the total votes received by Francis Addai-Nimoh who had less than one percent of the votes.
The figure, according to the Northern regional Secretary of the party, Sule Salifu, is frightening considering the fact that these voters themselves are supposed to garner support for the party at the grassroots. most of the rejected ballots had thumbprints on the party’s emblem instead whilst others had delegates voting for more than one candidate.
The NPP scribe stated that the situation is worrying and indicated that voter education needs to be intensified in the region in order to cut down the number of rejected ballots in the forthcoming general elections.
“We cannot afford to throw votes away in 2016. We need power and every vote must count,” he said. Mr Sule reiterated the fact that elections are won and lost at polling stations, adding that there is the need for serious work to be done at the grassroots to stem this since it can cost the party dearly.
Whilst optimistic the NPP is poised to snatch power from the NDC, he observed that such challenges could rob the party of electoral victory, noting that it was a contributory factor to the party’s poor performance in some communities in the region in the 2012 elections.
“We are tackling this issue head-on and I can assure you that our polling station executives will be schooled on voting to avert these mishaps,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, two-time flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo beat his other two contenders by an overwhelming majority, after securing 11,848 votes representing 94.07%. Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen polled 346 votes, representing 2.7%, out of the total votes of 12,594 whilst Addai-Nimoh came last with 86 votes, representing 0.68%.
According to the regional secretariat of the NPP, 13,160 persons were supposed to take part in the process but about 500 polling station executives failed to turn up for reasons yet to be uncovered by the party.
Voting however went on smoothly as expected, except in Wulensi where
200 persons’ names went missing in the album.
Fortunately, alternative arrangements were made to enable them vote.
Similar incidents were witnessed in the Salaga South and Tamale South constituencies but regional executives rose to the occasion and resolved the
situations for voting to continue.
Meanwhile 2012 running mate to the NPP flagbearer, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, voted in Walewale, his hometown, where Nana Addo performed creditably at the close of polls.
Dr Bawumia, who was very instrumental in the NPP winning the Walewale
seat for the first time, is poised to ensure that he saves the seat for the party in 2016.
Source: Daily Guide