Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ghana elections: Political parties storm Tain

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

The two main political parties contesting the hottest and longest held elections ever in the recent democratic history of Ghana, have stormed Tain (pronounced Taa-in) Constituency in the Brong Ahafo region where the winner is likely to be decided. A run-off voting is due in the area Friday, January 2, 2009.

The people of the Tain Constituency were unable to vote during the run-off elections December 28, 2008 because the Electoral Commission (EC) was unable to send election materials to the area on time. And the EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan described the incident as “circumstances beyond our control” when he announced the provisional results of the run-off Tuesday December 30, 2008 at a press conference in Accra.

Soon after the provisional results of the run-off were announced the parties got to work and headed to Tain. Indeed, the workers of the parties who had been in the area never returned to the capital. They were asked to stay there and continue with work as the results were trickling in.

The Tain Constituency is located in the Brong Ahafo region in Northern Ghana. The constituency is within the Tain District which was created in June 2004. It is situated at the North West of Sunyani (Regional Capital) and lies within latitudes 7 ½ and 8o 45` North and longitudes 2o 52` West and 0o 28` East. The District covers a land area of 4,125 sq kilometers. The capital is Nsawkaw, which is 18 miles from Wenchi, the capital of the Wenchi Municipality out of which Tain was carved from.

The district shared common boundaries with Wenchi Municipal to the East, Jaman North to the West, Sunyani Municipal to the South and Berekum Municipal to the South West.

It is also bounded by the Bole District of the Northern Region to the North East and Cote d’Ivoire to the North West.

There are 53,890 registered voters in the Tain constituency.

In the first round of voting December 7, 2008 Prof. John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) polled 16,211 of valid votes cast; representing 50.75 % and Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) polled 14,935 votes which is 46.75 % of valid votes cast, with the remainder going to the other political parties and independent candidate in the Constituency.

After the announcement of the provisional results of the run-off Tuesday, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills of the NDC polled 4,501,466 votes representing 50.13% of valid votes cast and Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP garnered 4,478,411 representing 49.87% of valid votes cast.

The results put Prof. Mills ahead of Nana Addo with 23,055 votes, and having won the Tain Constituency, the expectation among many Ghanaians is that, Prof. Mills is more likely to carry the day, all things being equal.

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