Talensi by-election: Police seize AK-47 , pistol at Tongo

A combined team of police and military personnel on Tuesday morning seized a registered AK47 rifle and a pistol, which were in a ford van headed for the Tonga electoral area, the capital of the Talensi Constituency, where a crucial by-election is underway.

Some 39,523 registered voters in the Talensi Constituency of the Upper East Region, started voting at 7:00am Tuesday, to elect a new Member of Parliament, after their MP abdicated his seat  to become a traditional ruler.

The seat, being contested by the two main political parties who have vowed to defeat each other has heightened tension.
Six other political parties have also put forward candidates to contest.

TV3’s Daniel Lartey, who reported from the Winkingo Christ the King Primary School polling station, said the ford van with the two registered weapons and six machetes was stopped by the police which has mounted a checkpoint to search all vehicles and its occupants entering the Tongo electoral area, the constituency capital.

A police officer shows the seized guns to the cameras

According to Daniel Lartey, the security personnel wondered why the weapons  were being conveyed into the electoral area.
In the meantime however, the licensed guns have been seized together with the machetes.

As of the time of filing this report, Daniel said the police were taking down the details of the driver to carry out further investigations later.

Meanwhile the police and military personnel have intensified the search on vehicles and its occupants to ensure that no offensive weapon is carried to the electoral area or polling stations.

Daniel Lartey reported that some government officials were unhappy with the search, an incident that created an unpleasant scene but the security officials restored calm and continued with their work without fear or favour.

Voting underway

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Meanwhile the Principal Public Relations Officer for the Electoral Commission, Sylvia Annor, told TV3 voting started peacefully in all the 74 polling stations at 7:00am.

She says members of the commission are going about to monitor the process.

On the issue of the use of the biometric verification machine, she stated that all parties including the EC, have agreed that nobody would be allowed to vote without being verified by the machine.

The commission says if an eligible voter has challenges being verified by the machine, the fellow would have to keep trying.

This time around, the commission says it has two biometric machines for each polling station and has put in place the needed technical team to work on the machine when the need arises to fix a breakdown.

TV3’s Mohammed Tanko who visited three polling stations namely , Wakii Primary A and B and  Kaare, reports that as of 8:30am, persons aged between 70 and 75 years had turned out in their numbers to vote with a few youthful voters in sight.

He said the aged voters were assisted by the presiding officer to cast their ballot in the presence of all party agents.

“Nearly thousand people had voted at the three polling stations” Tanko reported.

Political parties

The two main candidates

Mohammend Tanko quoted the NDC’s Sam George as saying that the process had been satisfactory so far. Sam George thus commended the EC and security personnel for the work done so far.

Mr. Sam George however alleged that some person were being given monies at the entrance to polling stations; a claim he could not prove strongly.

The NPP’s First National Vice Chairman, Mr. Freddie Blay, has on the other hand accused the NDC of  using their notorious group the Azorka boys, to intimidate voters; another unproven claim.

By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/3news.com/Ghana

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