The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has described the Akatsi South by-elections as free and fair in spite of “minor irregularities.”
According to statement issued by CODEO, it deployed 15 observers to the by-election organized on Tuesday by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the Akatsi South Constituency of the Volta Region.
CODEO observers undertook roaming observation of some polling stations in the constituency and observed that the polls were properly conducted and were generally free and fair in spite of some minor irregularities.
Below are the observation findings of CODEO
CODEO FINAL OBSERVATION STATEMENT ON THE AKATSI SOUTH CONSTITUENCY BY-ELECTION
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) deployed 15 observers to the by-election organized by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the Akatsi South Constituency of the Volta Region on Tuesday, February 5 2013. CODEO observers undertook roaming observation of some polling stations in the constituency. CODEO observed that the polls were properly conducted and were generally free and fair in spite of some minor irregularities. Below are CODEO’s observation findings.
Opening and Voting
CODEO observers noted that voting generally started on time at the polling stations visited by the observers. There were however a few instances where voting could not start on time. At the polling station at D/A Primary School, Yaluvi for example, voting was delayed for about an hour due to the late arrival of Election Officials and voting materials. CODEO observers also reported that officials generally adhered to voting procedures. Some voters however had some minor challenges with the verification devices and had to try more than once before being accepted/recognized by the devices.
Presence of Security
CODEO observers witnessed the presence of uniformed security personnel in the polling stations visited. Some polling stations had more than one uniformed security personnel.
Collation and Delaration of Results
CODEO observers reported that there was some disorderliness at the Akatsi College of Education where the collation of results took place. Supporters of the two leading contestants (that of the NDC and the Independent Candidate) initially claimed victory while the figures were being collated. Some of these supporters reportedly threatened not to accept anything other than electoral victory for their candidate. CODEO observers also reported that agents of the Independent Candidate refused to sign on the final results sheet as they were in disagreement with the results declared.
Based on observation findings, CODEO concludes that the by-election in the Akatsi South Constituency was conducted according to electoral rules and procedures. CODEO wishes to congratulate all contestants for restraining themselves and their supporters during the elections.
Mr. John Larvie