The much-awaited Ghana Journalists Association’s (GJA) elections, to elect new national and regional executives, are underway across the country.
The elections are being supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC), in collaboration with the GJA Elections Committee.Polls were supposed to open at 08:00 hours and end at 16:00 hours. More than six hundred members of the GJA in good standing are supposed to vote.
Ghana News Agency (GNA) visit to some polling centres in Accra showed that voting was ongoing at a slow pace, with polling agents of the contesting candidates at post.When GNA visited the Ghanaian Times Corporation Polling Centre in Accra at 09:10 hours, Mr Kwabena Arthur Mensah, the Head of the Electoral Commission Team, said voting started at exactly 08:00 hours and nine voters had voted as at 09:12 hours.
He said voters and polling agents of the contesting candidates had co-operated with the EC officials without encountering any challenges.
At the Graphic Communications Group Limited Polling Centre in Accra, Nana Kweku Doodo, the Head of the EC Team, said there were 92 voters on the register and as at 09:38 hours, only seven had voted.
He expressed the hope that more voters would turn-up in the course of the day to vote.He said they came with the required number of ballot papers and electoral materials and had not encountered any challenges.
He said voting couldn’t start at exactly 08:00hours because they initially set up the electoral materials at the Graphic Newsroom, but they were told voting would lead to obstructions and, therefore, moved to the Editorial Reception.
At the Ghana News Agency Polling Centre in Accra, Mr Yusif Alhassan Ayuba, the Presiding Officer of the EC, told the GNA that there were 73 voters on the voters register and as at 10:38 hours only four voters had voted.He expressed optimism that more voters would turn up by the close of polls at 1600 hours.
The Elections Committee of the GJA, chaired by Mr Ben Assorow, in an earlier press statement, stated that eligible voters are supposed to produce a GJA identity card or any national identification card before he or she would be allowed to vote.
The polling centres for the elections are as follows: Greater Accra and Tema would be at the International Press Centre, Ghana News Agency (GNA), Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), New Times Corporation, Graphic Communications Group Limited and Obonu FM in Tema.
The polling centres for the regions are: GNA premises for Volta, Press Centre for Western, Electoral Commission premises for Eastern and Brong Ahafo, and the Information Service premises for Upper East.
Others are the Press Centre for Upper West, GBC for Northern Region and Graphic Communication Group premises for Central Region.
At the national level, Mr Roland Affail Monney, the incumbent President, is facing a keen contest from two other candidates; Mr Lloyd Evans and Mr Johnnie Aryeetey.
The Vice Presidential slot has the highest number of persons with four candidates, namely; Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei, Mrs Tina Aforo-Yeboah, Mr Matthew Mac-Kwame and Mr Francis Kokutse.
The incumbent General Secretary, Mr David Agbenu, is facing strong competition from Mr Kofi Yeboah.
The Organising Secretary position is being contested by Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour and Vance Azu, while Ms Mary Mensah and Nii Adjei Klu are contesting for the Public Affairs position respectively.
The GJA elections should have come off on the March 31, this year, but was delayed due to disqualification of some aspiring candidates.The case later went to court but was amicably settled after litigating parties agreed on the settlement procedures thus, paving the way for today’s elections.