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NPP Conference: Voting ongoing

Source: myjoyonline.com

Voting has started in various polling centres across the country to elect a flagbearer for the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

About 140,000 delegates in 275 constituencies are casting their ballots to select one of three aspirants to lead the party to the 2016 Presidential election.

Two-time flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is facing stiff opposition from former Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen and MP, Francis Addai Nimoh.

Mr Akufo-Addo is widely tipped to win the election but he must do so by a wide margin if he is to gain control of the fractured party.

The campaigns before today’s poll have been marred by accusations and counter-accusations.

But voting itself has been peaceful so far.

Upper West Regional First Vice Chairman of the NPP, Hafiz Bin Salih, who cast his ballot at the Wa Central Polling Centre, told Myjoyonline.com about 80 delegates have cast their ballot at the centre, an hour after polls opened.

He said voting has started in all 11 constituencies in the region.

Voting at Manhyia North, Kumasi, was temporarily disrupted when six delegates were prevented from voting as at 9 am because their names were not found in the voter’s register. This led to heated verbal exchanges between them and constituency executives.

The EC officer present referred their case to the regional executives to take a decision. About 508 delegates are expected to vote.

Also at the party’s headquarters in Accra, one Dr. Charles Dwamena representing the China branch of the party was prevented from voting as a proxy voter. He could not find his name in the register as a delegate, which automatically disqualifies him as a proxy voter.

But the EC officer at the headquarters explained that it was a “typo error…problem of the generation of the register, and the issue has been referred to the party’s national election committee.

Presidential aspirant Francis Addai Nimoh has already cast his vote at the Ashanti Mampong constituency. He is a delegate by virtue of being a Member of Parliament. He says voting there has been peaceful and hopes it will be the same nationwide.

Manhyia North Kumasi: An Ash FM reporter was assaulted for trying to interview some party members who were being whisked away from the polling centre because they are not delegates.

Ledzorkuku, Accra: Some disturbances ensued when some delegates realised their names have been expunged from the register.

Ho Central, Volta: No voting is going on there. Delegates in the Ho Central Constituency would not be voting today because an injunction has been placed on the Constituency executives from conducting any form of Elections in the constituency.

Accra: Nana Akufo-Addo, who is seeking a third-time bid to lead the party into the 2016 elections voted at the party’s headquarters in Accra.

In the Tamale Central Constituency of the Northern Region, Hashmeen Mohammed reports that aspirant Alan Kyerematen does not have polling agents in many centres.

Many do not want to be seen as publicly supporting Mr. Kyerematen, he stated.

Awudu Iddrisu reported from Techiman in the Bono Ahafo Region that the process is smooth and large numbers of delegates have already cast their ballots.

He says the problem of missing names in the voters register is not prevalent in the area.

At the Oforikrom Constituency in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, tensions run wild when many delegates couldn’t find their names in the register.

Calm was restored after the party leaders intervened.

They agreed to use the register at the constituency as a back-up document for the election.

Nathan Gadugah reports from Ledzokuku that there is a build up of anger because many voters cannot find their names in the register.

Only half of about 800 delegates have cast their ballot, he said.

The former constituency chairman is accused of manipulating the register to disenfranchise many voters.

Some also do not understand why the Constituency Secretary of the party is doubling as the polling agent of Alan Kyerematen.

In the Upper East Regional capital, Bolga, confusion nearly broke out when some delegates who could not find their names in the register tried to confront election officers.

It took police intervention to restore calm, regional correspondent, Albert Sore reports.

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