Friday, November 30, 2012

Ghana Elections 2012 : NPP, NDC supporters in verbal exchange in Sekondi

Two top functionaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Sekondi lost their cool and raised their voices at a debate for parliamentary candidates, compelling organisers to temporarily halt the event as their supporters joined the fracas.
The few security personnel present lost control and supporters of the two parties nearly turned the event in the chamber of the Western Regional House of Chiefs into a boxing arena.
Friends of the Nation (FON), a Takoradi based non-governmental organisation that organised the debate, had a hectic time calming nerves because supporters who were outside the hall also joined.
Security personnel called for reinforcement but before its arrival tempers cooled and the event went on after about 40 minutes of interruption.
Papa Owusu Ankomah, the NPP Member of Parliament for Sekondi and Capt Anthony Cudjoe (rtd), the Metropolitan Chief Executive, were taken to one of the offices to cool down.
They came back to the hall and shook hands in the presence of the organizers and a member of the Western Regional Peace Council. They had earlier signed a pact to ensure peace during the election.
The debate was the second FON organised for parliamentary candidates and was attended by NPP, NDC and Convention Peoples Party's (CPP) Mr Ahoah Henry Solor.
Questions centered on the environment, fishing, oil and gas and coastal development and the debate got off smoothly.
All the candidates said they would transform Sekondi constituency when given the nod and would resource the fisher folks and ensure that they adhere to the approved fishing methods.
They said they would develop the coastal area to boost hospitality and check that  revenue from oil and gas is used judiciously to benefit the entire region.
However, during question time supporters of the NDC and NPP murmured and this compelled the organisers to suspend proceedings.
On resumption a question was asked about how Papa Owusu Ankomah used his share of the Common Fund and he answered that in reality nothing like that existed.
His answer deepened the murmuring from the audience and he explained that MPs get only five percent of the Common Fund to enable them support some projects in their constituencies and that the Fund is disbursed through the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
The MP added that unfortunately he had still not had his share of the Common Fund from the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly.
This brought Capt Cudjoe to his feet to say that the allocation was intact.
Out of the blue, supporters of the two parties started trading insults at each other while others nearly exchanged blows creating chaos and confusion.
Mr Kweku Aggrey, a member of the Western Regional Peace Council, told the GNA that he was surprised at the turn of events and appealed to leaders of the parties to bring their supporters to order for  peace in the constituency and the region.
He said judging from the incident, supporters of losing parties could create confusion after the announcement of the election results and expressed the hope that they would be talked to for sanity to prevail in the constituency.
Mr Mevuta Donkris, Executive Director of the FON, said the environment, having been neglected for a long time, influenced his NGO to organise the debate.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ghanaelections 2012 Violence : Group loots shops in Ashtown in reprisal attacks

Some persons affiliated to Matthews, the man who was attacked at Ashtown, Kumasi by persons affiliated to the Manhyia MP, have gone on rampage looting some shops in the area.

The reprisal attacks according to reports occurred late Thursday evening. According to Nhyira FM's Kofi Asante, 5 persons also sustained injuries in the reprisal attacks and have been admitted at the hospital.

According to the PRO of the Ashanti Regional Police, ASP Mohammed Tanko the cause of the clashes is still not known.

The Manhyia MP, Matthew Opoku Prempeh who is tight-lipped on the issue is scheduled to address a press conference Friday morning.

Police in the Ashanti Region were Thursday evening deployed to Ashtown to ensure calm after violent confrontation between persons said to be linked to the MP of Manhyia, Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the man identified as Matthews.

Nhyira FM's Kofi Asante reported that the man was not only shot in the leg but sustained serious machete wounds in the attack. Another person, who is said to be the sister of the victim was also hit by a stray bullet, but her condition is stable.

It is still not clear the reason for the attack but Mathews was rushed to the hospital where he is currently receiving treatment. The police, immediately after the incident took over the town to protect the peace.

According to Asante, the MP, Mathew Opoku Prempeh was at Ashtown early Thursday morning with his team to distribute party paraphernalia and books to the constituents.

Even though he cannot immediately confirm, Asante said there were reports of misunderstanding between some of the area guys and the men following the MP.

There was a violent confrontation with blood stains visible on the road where the attack occurred.

No arrest has yet been made.
credit : JFM

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ghana elections 2012 : EU urges EC to reconsider early voting for Journalists

The European Union (EU) delegation in Ghana has expressed concern over the refusal of the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow the members of the media to participate in the special voting ahead of the December 7 general elections.

The EU wants the EC to reconsider its rules to allow the media and other Ghanaian observer missions like Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) to vote before the December 7 to enable them effectively monitor the elections.

The EU last month announced it will not send down its Observer Mission for the elections due to the existence of proper structures including a credible media.

But following the Electoral Commission's announcement that Journalists will not be allowed to participate in the special voting, the Head of Delegation for the EU, Ambassador Claude Maerten has urged the EC to rectify the situation.

"We regret the situation. It is true that it would have been better to be in a situation where the observers have the right to vote early so that they can do their job. And we regret that it was not in the Constitution Instrument which was passed by the Parliament some weeks ago," he explained.

Ambassador Maerten called for a proposal by the Electoral Commission "so that at least the media can exercise their right to vote and also do their job and inform Ghanaians about the process; it's very important."

According to him, the step if taken will be a positive arrangement for Ghana's democracy.

He also told Citi News his outfit cannot reverse its earlier decision of sending down an Observer Mission because of time constraints.

"No, we will not reconsider our position. To send an electoral mission is something which you have to forecast long in advance. So it's not just two-three weeks before the elections that we can change this decision," he explained.

Ambassador Maerten also noted that the move will have a lot of financial consequences and it will no longer be necessary as there are other international Observer Missions which will monitor the elections.




On the eve of the elections, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Sierra Leone calls upon the voters of Sierra Leone to express their commitment to peace and democracy and to participate actively in the 17 November polls in a calm and orderly manner.

The EU EOM urges all political parties to abide by the commitments they have undertaken, namely the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) Code of Conduct, the NEC Campaign Code and the Declaration on Elections 2012, and to renew calls on their supporters to refrain from any form of violence or intimidation during this critical phase of the electoral process.

Acknowledging the demanding days ahead, the EU EOM trusts that all election officials, political party agents, security forces, domestic observers and all of those involved in ensuring the integrity of the electoral process will perform their roles in a responsible and impartial manner.


The EU EOM is pleased to support Sierra Leone in such an important moment in its history and for its future. The EU EOM will remain in the country until the end of the entire electoral process and will observe the resolution of any eventual complaints and appeals that may arise after the official announcement of final results.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Police raid Buildmat over Mahama’s denigrated image;

Owners of Buildmat Company Limited, a hardware shop along the Spintex road in Accra, have expressed worry over a raid by the police at their premises today.

About a dozen policemen allegedly stormed the shop in search of printed materials intended to denigrate the person of President Mahama.

Nana Asante Bediatuo, the lawyer for Buildmat's owner, contended that no incriminating items were recovered during the raid and blamed the government for using the police to intimidate political opponents.

He described the raid as unlawful and wrong, an action that "cannot be tolerated".


Sierra Leone Elections 2012 - Useful Links

The third general election in Sierra Leone since the end of the 1991-2002 civil war is due to take place on the 17th of November. The polls will allow for voting in of the president, 112 members of parliament and 456 local councillors. In regards to the presidential election a candidate must win no less than 55% of the vote otherwise it will trigger a run-off (second round) of voting. There are nine candidates running for president but the two front runners are: President Ernest Bai Koromo of the All People's Congress (APC) and Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP).

Unfortunately the Sierra Leonean elections have a long history of election related violence and it will be keenly watched by many in the international community. To stay up to date with information on the election we have compiled a list of websites below that we recommend you keep an eye on. There is also a list of social media platforms where it is possible to debate and discuss the different issues as they develop.

News Websites  

Cocorioko Newspaper -

The Patriotic Vanguard Newspaper

Awareness Times Newspaper

Sierra Express Newspaper -

Awoko Newspaper -

Standard Times Press Newspaper -

Swit Salone news website -

BBC Q & A on Sierra Leone Elections  -

Sierra Leone Telegraph news website -

Electoral Management Body

Electoral Commission -  


Civil Society

Civil Society Coalition monitoring group -


Political Parties

Sierra Leone Peoples Party -


Social Media


Civil Society Election Monitoring –

Sierra Leone Elections 2012 -

Campaign for peaceful Sierra Leonie Elections 2012 -

All People's Congress (APC) -

Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) -



News - @sierraleonenet  

News - @SwitSalone

News - @NewsSierraLeone 

Election News - @SierraLeone2012  

Awoko Newspaper  - @awokonewspaper

Opinion and News - @SP_SierraLeone

Aid and development news @aidsierraleone

World Changing Centre - @WCC_sierraleone

Sustainability Charity - @ShineOnSL

Promoting Sierra Leone's image - @BrandSalone

President Ernest Bai Koroma - @presidentkoroma

Opposition Lead Julius Maada Bio - @JuliusmaadaBio


News -

Opinion and News -




Ghana Elections 2012 : NPP 'begs' for food for party agents on Election Day

The New Patriotic Party has accepted receive donations from party sympathisers to support its agents on Election Day, 7th December, 2012.

A statement signed by General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie on Wednesday said that "due to numerous requests from our teeming sympathizers on wanting to be a part of the N.P.P Campaign for victory 2012, we have decided to open our doors to all to contribute their widow's mite to the final onslaught of the campaign".

The statement encouraged sympathizers to donate food items such as:
a. Rice
b. Cooking oil
c. Onions
d. Tomatoes
e. Fish
f. Chicken
g. Canned fish
h. Beef/Goat/sheep/cow
i. Any food items
j. Any ingredients for preparation of food.

"Our doors would be open to receive these items from Monday, 19th November to Sunday, 25th November, 2012 from 8am to 6pm daily. We call on all market women's Groups, Shop Owners, Commodity Wholesalers/ Distributers, Cold Store owners etc to come and support Nana Akufo-Addo and the Great N.P.P. to victory.

"Donors may contact the National, Regional or Constituency offices of the party. You may also call these lines 020 842 75 28/ 023 507 30 75 if you want us to come and pick your donation".

Wednesday, November 14, 2012



A group of 50 European Union short term observers, coming from 25 EU member states and Norway, is being deployed throughout the country today to observe the 17 November Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections.


The observers arrived in Freetown on 11 November. After two days of comprehensive briefing they will join today the 28 EU long term observers deployed throughout Sierra Leone since 14 October. In total the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has now 86 election observers working throughout the country.


"With the deployment of our short term observers the EU EOM is now in full strength to observe the 17 November polls and the counting and tally procedures across the country", said Richard Howitt, Chief Observer of the EU EOM. "These 50 short term observers will reinforce our presence in all the districts of Sierra Leone to continue watching closely the electoral process. We hope this will contribute to have a peaceful and democratic process".


The EU EOM Chief Observer will also be travelling today to Kono to closely follow the preparations of the polls and to meet different interlocutors in the region. "I sincerely hope that during the next days all political parties will call on all their supporters to refrain from any forms of violence before, during and after 17 November polls. It is crucial that all Sierra Leoneans show their commitment with peace and democracy in such an important moment for the country", Mr Howitt said.


A delegation of four Members of the European Parliament will also be joining the EU EOM on Thursday 15 November. After election day, the EU EOM will issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions on the electoral process.


Friday, November 9, 2012

GHANA ELECTIONS 2012 : Mahama leads in close 2012 election- EIU report

London's economist intelligence unit has released another report forecasting for the second time that the December "elections will be extremely close".
It however maintains the ruling NDC is "arguably the slight favorite".
"A number of recent events have bolstered the ruling NDC's prospects ahead of the December elections. We continue to forecast that the elections will be extremely close, but the NDC is arguably becoming the slight favourite," the report stated.
It said, "The power of incumbency will give some advantage to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) especially in terms of spending the early oil windfall," but added that "this advantage is less pronounced in Ghana than in other African countries, given its history of voters evicting the ruling party in favour of the opposition."
To win the election against the opposition NPP's formidable candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, the NDC's presidential candidate, John Mahama, the IEU noted, "must convince voters that he and his party are fit to continue governing. The economy will be a key battleground and the president has been quick to pledge his intention to support moves that will improve living standards, including tackling inflation and boosting infrastructure development."
Allegations of corruption and "claims of financial impropriety have tarnished some government ministers. This has hurt the NDC's reputation, given that it came to power promising accountability and transparency," the report indicated.
Meanwhile, the NPP, which was only narrowly defeated at the 2008 elections, is working hard on the campaign trail.
Overall, the outcome of the 2012 presidential election could be just as close as that of 2008, but the Economist Intelligence Unit believes that Mr Mahama and the NDC are the slight favourites.
When the next national elections come round in 2016, Ghana could well be at a very different stage of development, provided that the oil and gas boom is managed effectively. If this is the case, whoever wins in 2012 would have a strong chance of securing re-election.
The flipside to this is that if the electorate views development as not having improved sufficiently, another swap in power between the NDC and the NPP could be expected.
"Given our assumption of a close but fair election, political stability would be expected to return quickly to Ghana—a country with an enviable democratic track record in a troubled region," the report said.
The report however warns of political tension in the wake of increased oil revenue in the country.