The National Democratic Congress (NDC) last Saturday conducted its nationwide constituency elections to elect executives to manage the affairs of the party ahead of the 2020 general election.
The elections, which took place in 259 out of the 275 constituencies, were generally peaceful, except in a few places where there were pockets of petty incidents related to candidate’s pictures missing on the voter’s list, eligibility of the delegates, slow pace of the process and delegates names not found in the voters register.
In Accra, the elections were generally peaceful except in some constituencies where the eligibility of some delegates were challenged.
The election, which was scheduled to start around 8 a.m., took a slow start because of the early rainfall but picked up around 1 p.m. when the sun began to rise.
At the Dome-Kwabenya and Madina constituencies, there were delays and agitations by aggrieved delegates that led to some disorder.
The presiding officers of the Electoral Commission (EC), who were manning the two constituencies said those challenges could not be blamed on the EC.
That, they explained, was because they were working strictly according to the voter's register presented to them by the NDC party.
However, activities went on smoothly, with adequate police presence.
At Madina, the National Youth Organiser of the NDC, Mr Sidii Abubakar Musah, who was overseeing the elections, announced a suspension of polls after 6:30 p.m. due to the invasion of forces believed to be groups organised by "losers" who wanted to disrupt the process.
Mr Abubakar said so far the polls for the positions of women's organiser and youth organiser had been completed and based on the response from the regional team, the ballot boxes would be opened and counted.
The boxes were subsequently transported to the Madina Police Station.
In the Ayawaso East Constituency, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwatia, Baba Jamal, was prevented from voting since the delegates said he was not a registered member in the constituency.
Constituencies such as Ayawaso North, Central, East and Ablekuma Central, Anyaa-Sowutuom were some of the areas where the eligibility of the voting delegates were challenged but none of those issues hampered the voting process.
Delegates came in their numbers and each one was allowed to cast their votes except in few areas where some were made to hold on until their eligibility was proven.
Reports filed by Daily Graphic reporters in other regions were not different from the situation in Accra.
In the Ashanti Region, there were delays in some constituencies, including Bantama where the delegates became angry because party officials had to work out plans to solve accreditation challenges among the delegates.
Forty-five out of the 47 constituencies in the Ashanti Region voted to elect new officials to lead the party in that region.
The elections at the Asante Akim South Constituency in the Ashanti Region was postponed.
A notice issued by the constituency secretary read: "On behalf of the Constituency Executive Committee, we deeply regret to inform the entire members and sympathisers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of the postponement of the Constituency Conference slated for June 24, 2018 till further notice. The reason is solely on unavailability of adequate funds to organise the conference."
"This decision was taken during an emergency meeting held at the party office by Constituency Executive Committee and the aspirants yesterday, June 22, 2018. A new date will be communicated to you in due course. The inconvenience is deeply regretted," the notice added
Deep into the night
In the Western and Central regions, voting went on without any major issues except in some constituencies where the delegates complained because their names were not in the register.
At the Wa Central Constituency in the Upper West Region, the election of the officers for the constituency ran deep into the night as counting was ongoing as of 11 p.m.
The whole exercise was almost uneventful over the 14 hours, and the police were rendered almost redundant in the orderly exercise.
Despite the event stretching into the night, delegates remained on the grounds as interest and anxiety heightened during the sorting and counting process.
Sixty-one aspirants vied for 16 positions in the constituency where a total of 1,382 delegates were expected to vote.