ASHANTI REGIONAL PEACE COUNCIL (ARPC)
REPORT OF MONITORING EXERCISE CONDUCTED DURING THE KUMAWU BY-ELECTION
The Ashanti Regional Peace Council (ARPC) set out for the Sekyere Kumawu constituency on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, to observe the by-elections. Prior to the earlier announcement to the public by the Electoral Commission that a by-election was required to be held to elect a new Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kumawu Constituency in the Ashanti Region as a result of the passing of the Member of Parliament for the constituency, Philip Basoah, in Parliament, the seat of the constituency had become vacant.
The ARPC mandate under the NPC Act 2011, Act (818), is to support and promote mechanisms for conflict prevention, management, and resolution as well as the establishment of a lasting peace in the region and throughout Ghana. To help ensure peace and tranquillity before, during, and after the by-elections in the region, the Ashanti Regional Peace Council released a number of proactive steps.
The ARPC advised all key stakeholders, including political parties, the Ghana Police Service, the Electoral Commission, registered voters, media personnel, and domestic observers, to carry out their specific duties assigned to them in order to foster a credible election and maintain peace in the Sekyere-Kumawu region, in a press release that was distributed to the general public on May 22, 2023. The press release is provided as Appendix 1 in its entirety.
SHEIKH HAKEEM BAIDOO CHAIRMAN
REV. EMMANUEL BADU AMOAH SECRETARY
PRINCE OSEI TUTU MEMBER
GODWIN NANA AMPONSAH MEMBER
- The ARPC delegation for the Monitoring of the By-Election arrived in the Kumawu township in the early hours of Tuesday, 23rd May, 2023.
- The ARPC team observed that the Kumawu Constituency consists of 75 polling stations with a population of 35,000 expected to exercise their franchise.
- The election started as early as 7:00am on Tuesday, 23rd May 2023
- There were 12 polling stations within the Kumawu Township, of which all of these stations were visited to witness the orderly manner the Party Agents and EC officials conducted themselves to achieve a peaceful by-election.
- We observed that the people within the Kumawu constituency were predominantly farmers and for that reason, the turnout for the early hours of the elections were low but picked up in the afternoon till the end of polls when they had all returned from their farming activities.
- The media fraternity was also present to make sure that all procedures and protocols were followed.
- The Ghana Police Service for the first time introduced technology by using body Cameras and drones to monitor the elections.
- The ARPC Monitoring Team was able to visit 15 polling centres of which 12 polling centres were classified as Hotspot centres.
- The voting process came to a close at 5:00 pm. However, people who were already in the queue then were allowed to vote.
- It was alleged that the polling center (Papasi No. 2 Kumawu) with the center code (F131602) and one of the political parties were involved in the act of vote buying.
- At Oyoko Methodist Primary Polling Station with the center code (F360203), one of the party agents at the beginning of the polls signed the declaration form, which resulted in a misunderstanding between the EC official and the party officers, and later they all came to the conclusion to withdraw it and use a new form with the help of the security present.
- Another incident that nearly marred the success of the exercise was when an independent candidate assaulted a party agent at the polling station. Although there was retaliation from the agent, the police personnel were able to intervene to contain the situation.
- The N.D.C. candidate made a complaint that the N.P.P. party was using their party cars to convey people (voters) to the various polling stations to exercise their franchise.
- The N.D.C. candidate complained that the people within the Kumawu constituency were induced by money to vote.
- The N.D.C. candidate also complained that there was an incident where a visually impaired person opted to vote for the N.D.C. but was misled by one of the polling agents.
The ARPC team applauded all stakeholders for carrying out their individual responsibilities prior to, during, and after the elections. Constituents in Sekyere Kumawu Constituency and the greater Ashanti area continue to live in peace as a result of the peaceful nature of the process. The Ashanti Regional Peace Council released a second press release after the by-election’s results were announced and afterward to congratulate all parties involved for the successful and peaceful way in which they carried out their obligations for a peaceful election. The press release is provided as Appendix 2 in its entirety.