Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Ghana’s electoral body has rejected a plan by the main opposition party to use drones during the upcoming polls.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the use of drones will be aimed at preventing potential irregularities in December’s general election.

But the electoral commission said such a move would contravene security protocols and jeopardise the confidentiality of the voting process.

Ghana has a history of closely fought but peaceful elections.

December will see a new president elected as Nana Akufo-Addo is stepping down after completing his second term in office.

The presidential election is expected to be a two-horse race between current Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the NDC’s John Mahama, who has already served as president between 2012 and 2017. He was also the losing candidate in the 2020 election.

Mr Mahama has alleged that plans to rig the vote in favour of the NPP are already in place. But both the Electoral Commission and the governing NPP have denied the allegation.

On Monday, a senior NDC official revealed plans to deploy drones in the region around the capital, Accra, in an effort to enhance election monitoring.

Emmanuel Nii Ashie Moore said the plan was part of the strategy to secure over two million votes for the party in the region, which they believe will be crucial in determining the outcome of the poll.

“Next week, we are going to train constituency executives on how to use drones to monitor what happens during the elections,” Mr Moore was quoted as saying.

He did not give further details about the planned deployment of drones but stressed the party’s commitment to securing all necessary resources for a smooth electoral process.

However, the country’s director of electoral services Serebour Quaicoe opposed the move, saying it might compromise voters’ electoral privacy and security.

Mr Quaicoe said the commission was yet to receive an official request from the party regarding the deployment of drones.

“They have to apply but it will be very difficult for the Electoral Commission or the police to approve people to be using drones at polling stations,” he said.

“Polling stations are security zones and we want to ensure the secrecy of the ballot.”

But Mustapha Gbande, the NDC deputy general secretary, said the party would strictly observe all the laid down electoral rules by flying the drones outside of the voting areas.

Mr Mahama, who is determined to make a comeback after the 2020 defeat, has urged opposition members to uphold vigilance throughout the electoral process.

The opposition candidate has maintained Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, a former education minister, as his running mate.

The NDC and the NPP have dominated Ghanaian politics since 1992, and the upcoming presidential vote is expected to be keenly contested.

By Joy

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