The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has called on the Ghana Police Service (GPS) to urgently investigate the violent incident recorded during the Assin North by-election in the Central Region last Tuesday and prosecute all persons found culpable to serve as a deterrent.
It also condemned the violent incident which it said nearly blotted the poll.
The coalition, however, commend the Electoral Commission, the GPS and the electorate for ensuring a largely peaceful by-election which was fully concluded after the winning candidate was declared.
The three-page report after the end of the by-poll issued by CODEO and signed by its National Coordinator, Albert Kofi Arhin, acknowledged that the conduct of the polls was consistent with the general rules and regulations which were adhered to by the polling officials.
In addition, it said there were no shortage of materials, and the biometric verification devices functioned well to a large extent without any significant disruptions to the poll in any of the observed polling stations.
It said its observers reported a few incidents that occurred during the course of the poll, which included issues of intimidation, violation of voting procedure and violent clash.
On the issue of intimidation, it said “At precisely 7:20a.m., at Methodist Primary School 2 in Breku, a journalist from Adom TV was interviewing electorate who were in a queue to vote, and he was confronted by a purported executive of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for conducting an interview at the polling station.
Police personnel located at the polling station swiftly intervened and that prevented the situation from degenerating.”
With regard to violation of voting procedure, CODEO said “At the Methodist Primary School 2 in Bereku, two electorate were apprehended for taking a snapshot of the ballot paper after voting.
When questioned about their actions, they claimed that an unidentified individual had tasked them to take a picture of the marked ballot as proof in return for a monetary reward.
They were nearly arrested by security personnel.
However, the matter was resolved amicably and the alleged offenders were allowed to go.
The coalition said the issue of the violent clash was recorded around 1.00 p.m, when a convoy of vehicles with NPP occupants, accompanied by its Ashanti Regional Chairman, Antwi Bosiako (Chairman Wontumi), pursued a vehicle occupied by National Democratic Congress supporters from a different polling station to D/C Primary School in Praso (located within the Electoral Area with Polling Station Code B170801).
“During this pursuit, the occupants of the NPP vehicles proceeded to vandalise and damage parts of the NDC vehicle, resulting in commotion and disturbance along the roadside.
Security personnel intervened to calm the situation by removing the actors from the vicinity of the polling station to a distant location.
However, it was reported that the individuals involved in the altercation fired guns, and one person was injured taken to the hospital for treatment,” it stated.