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Ghana: Press focuses on EC’s expectation of 100% voter turnout in today’s special election, others

The expectation by the Electoral Commission that a near 100 percent voter turnout in today’s special voting exercise and the announcement of Wednesday, December 23 for the funeral of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings are some of the trending stories in Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Graphic reports that the Electoral Commission (EC) has said it expects a near 100 per cent voter turnout in today’s special voting exercise.

“We expect a near 100 percent turnout and are confident that the outcome will be peaceful, credible, transparent and orderly, God being our helper,” the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Mensa, told the media in Accra yesterday.

Addressing the latest edition of the ‘Let the Citizens Know’ series, Mrs. Mensa also released the final voters register for the 2020 general election, in which 17,027,641  people have been certified to take part in the polls.

Declaring that all was set for today’s special voting, the EC Chairperson said polling officers had been recruited and trained, and that all materials had been distributed in sufficient quantities and biometric verification devices (BVDs) prepared and deployed.

“In total, 109,557 people, made up of security persons, media people and staff of the EC, applied to take part in the exercise in the 275 constituencies. It is instructive to note that this is the highest number the commission has recorded for special voting in its history,” she said.

 Significantly, she said, this year, the EC provided the special voting list to representatives of the institutions whose staff applied to vote in the exercise.

The newspaper says that the head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has called on all stakeholders in next Monday’s general election to cooperate and work with the Electoral Commission (EC), so that it can function at optimal level to deliver credible elections.

He equally entreated the EC to endeavour to reach out to all stakeholders, especially the political parties, to build trust and confidence and assure them that the commission was a neutral referee bent on ensuring that the process was credible and transparent through a level playing field for all participating parties.

Dr. Chambas, who is also the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative, made the call at a meeting with editors and executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) at the Ghana International Press Centre in Accra yesterday.

The UNOWAS Head, who celebrates his birthday on December 7, noted that to ensure successful elections, the UN had been working closely with the European Union (EU) and other partners to support the EC to ensure that it had the logistical and technical support to be able to perform its duty to the satisfaction of all actors.

“This is because if the EC plays its refereeing role in a neutral manner, if the preparation is thorough and Ghanaians are able to come out and exercise their franchise, as has been the case in the past, at the end of the day it is actually at the polling stations that the elections will be won or lost. This is the kind of system we want to see play out on Election Day on December 7, 2020,” he said.

The Times reports that the funeral of the Late Former President Jerry John Rawlings has been set for Wednesday, December 23, the family has announced.

A statement issued by James Victor Gbeho, the Head of Funeral Planning Committee, yesterday, said the ceremony would be held at the Black Star Square in Accra.

“The family is working in conjunction with the Government on the finer details of the funeral ceremony and will communicate the arrangements in due course,” the statement said.

The statement reminded individuals and institutions who wish to contribute tributes to the memory of the late former president to send them to tributes@jjrawlingsmemorial.org.

Former President Rawlings died on Thursday, November 12, 2020 after a brief period of illness at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

Born on June 22, 1947, he was a former military leader and subsequent politician who ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001 and also a brief period in 1979.

He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.

Fondly called “Papa J,” he was the country’s longest serving head of state.


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