Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Ghana Election 2012 - Early Voting Begins As The Nation Votes On Friday
Early voting began today as members of the Ghanaian security services get to cast ballots ahead of the nation to elect the next president of the Republic of Ghana. Seven political parties, including one independent candidate, will vie for the topmost job of the republic on Friday.
The incumbent President, John Dramani Mahama, of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is seeking reelection while the leading opposition candidate, Mr. Nana Akufo-Ado of the National Patriotic Party, (NPP) is hoping to take his seat.
Mr. Mahama was former Vice President who became President after the demise of President John Evans Atta-Mills who passed away on July 24 2012. Mahama was the former Minister of Communication under former President Jerry Rawlings.
Opposition candidate, Mr. Akufor Addo, a diplomat and a pan-Africanist, was a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana. He was the NPP candidate in the year 2008 and lost in a tight race won by Mr. Atta-Mills of NDC.
While the main election is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, members of the security services, comprised of Military, Intelligence and law enforcement agencies, are allowed to cast their ballots ahead of others because most of them will be engaged in providing security and maintaining peace and order during the election proper.
It is noteworthy that for the first time, the Ghana Electoral Commission will be deploying a biometric verification system to mitigate electoral malpractices like multiple voting. All eligible voters will go through finger printing authentication before manual thumb printing on ballot papers.
Some analysts say the election is too close to call as both candidates have done enough campaigning to sway votes to either side.
However, tomorrow’s early votes may likely favor the incumbent ruling party, NDC because of the new salary structure popularly known as “single spine.” The NDC government introduced the single spine policy as a consolidated salary structure for the security personnel, which factors accommodation, and other expenses and creates parity between the private and public sector
The Security personnel in Ghana earn as much as their colleagues in private sectors like banking industries. This policy encourages more Ghanaian to work in the security sector, while the government is able to attract the best brains in the Ghanaian society to join the public service.