The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is pointing fingers at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for fueling the violence that has characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
According to the party’s Communications Director, the NDC planned to mar the polls and this was evident in their premeditated behaviour and pronouncements they made prior to the elections.
Yaw Buabeng Asamoah at a press conference said leaders of the NDC have abandoned their responsibility to their people and have decided to throw a rather peaceful poll into disarray.
“We say it is premeditated because the signs were clear. Over three days ago, Mr Otokunor who is a Deputy General Secretary of the NDC issued a fiat that as far as they were concerned the election register was bloated and, therefore, if they didn’t have a register of their choice, they were going to pull out of the elections.
Video: NDC’s National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo
The NDC has announced a withdrawal from the by-election which has become necessary following the death of Kyeremanten Agyarko after a short illness, leaving his seat in Parliament vacant.
The EC by law is required to hold by-elections for a new parliamentarian to be elected for the constituency.
But the polls have been marred by violence. At the La Bawaleshie Presby School polling station, gunshots were fired. Fingers point to some men who eyewitnesses say were dressed in black and wearing face masks.
Ningo-Prampram MP, Samuel George was assaulted during the confusion and an angry NDC is accusing the NPP of unleashing vigilantes on innocent voters.
The NPP, however, denies any of the accusations levelled against them. According to Mr Buabeng Asamoah, the NDC is making a mountain out of a molehill.
“Out of the 137 polling stations, the particular incident that the NDC has blown out of proportion did not happen at a polling station where voting is going on, it was an off polling station incident. We, therefore, appeal for calm.”
He is convinced that the NDC planned to boycott the polls and are using the incident which had nothing to do with the polls to cover up their incompetence, citing the late arrival of polling agents to the various centres.
“As at 8:30 am this morning, there were several areas in the constituency that did not have NDC agents. All the polling stations we visited were calms and quiet…it was generally peaceful.
“And yet the NDC did not have agents at polling centres as at 8:30 am. Then out of the blue, the NDC leadership alleges killing of people and announces a pull out of the elections in the field.”
This, for Mr Buabeng Asamoah, could not have happened if they had not planned to cause confusion and that “this is a hugely orchestrated attempted to damage an election that they know from the beginning they were going to lose.”