Election observers question security arrangement for Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election

Lydia Syram Alhassan has been declared winner of the by-election[/caption] The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has raised questions about the security arrangement that was deployed to man Thursday’s Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election, which saw NPP’s Lydia Syram Alhassan emerge with a 68% victory.

Members of the Coalition who say they have visited more than half of the polling stations across the Constituency and spent an average of two hours at each polling station followed the electoral process from start to finish. The Coalition says it observed incidents of violence, including shooting La Bawaleshie in East Legon and is alarmed about the apparent lack of proper security coordination for the election. CODEO also observed what it described as a worrying situation the presence of masked security operatives at polling stations. It said these operatives could not be easily identified and thus could not be held accountable for any misconduct. Again, CODEO observed security operatives breached electoral rules and regulation. “Some non-uniformed security operatives displayed lack of understanding of the electoral rules and regulations. At the Prisons JHS at Roman Ridge, for instance, security operatives who claimed to be National Security operatives positioned themselves next to polling officials and when a stationed uniformed police officer alerted them to move away from poll officials, a pick-up full of many more of the so-called security operatives descended on the police officer and attacked him for doing legitimate work,” a statement at close of polls Thursday indicated. These, among other observations, made the Coalition  “question this high level and, what appears to be, uncoordinated security arrangement and presence during the elections”, noting that “unlike previous arrangement which seems to have been working well for the country during elections, CODEO is unsure what role, if any at all, of the Election Security Task Force played in this election”. Meanwhile, the Coalition reports of a peaceful process in other places aside those mentioned to have been inundated with violence, but advised the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) to hear the concerns of the NDC, which pulled out of the election. Source: 3news.com|Ghana]]>

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