The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has urged its polling agents to remain alert in the ongoing Kumawu by-election. The party’s General Secretary, Fifi Kwetey, issued this warning after an incident at the Oyoko Methodist Primary School polling station No F360203 in the Sekyere Kumawu Constituency.
According to reports, the Electoral Officer at the station, identified as Norbert, allegedly coerced polling agents to sign the pink sheets before the end of voting. He admitted this off record to Akoma FM’s Antwi Boasiako but did not explain why he did so.
Mr Kwetey told TV3’s William Evans Nkum in Kumawu that he was unhappy about the situation and instructed his agents not to tolerate any such thing again. He also said he would take up the matter with the Electoral Commission (EC) if it repeated. He regretted that he did not witness the incident himself so that he could confront the officer directly. “It is a little unfortunate that it happened just before I arrived, I wish I had seen the women so that we can get how to resolve,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EC has condemned the action of its officer and said that the pink sheet has been discarded. The Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, told TV3’s William Evans Nkum that the officer had violated the electoral rules and would face sanctions. He assured that a new pink sheet would be issued after voting ends.
The Kumawu by-election is being held to elect a new Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency following the death of Mr Philip Basoah of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in March. He was buried on Saturday. Four candidates are vying for the seat: Ernest Yaw Anim of the NPP, Akwasi Amankwaa of the NDC, and two independent candidates who share the same name, Kwaku Duah. One of them is a nephew of the other and contested against Basoah in 2020.
Over 33,000 registered voters are expected to cast their ballots in 75 polling stations across the constituency. The by-election has attracted top members of both NPP and NDC to campaign for their candidates. The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and former President John Dramani Mahama have both visited Kumawu to rally support for their parties. Kumawu has seen a significant improvement in its road network in recent weeks.