The Programmes Manager in charge of Local and Urban Governance at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), has attributed the low turnout in the District Level Election (DLE) to insufficient publicity.
In an interview on Joy FM’s Middaynews on Tuesday, December 18, Mr. Paul Aborampah Mensah said that media and civil society organisations did not put in enough effort compared to the build-up for national elections.
He noted that unlike the extensive coverage and promotion of the national election, the District Level Election was only advertised three weeks after the Electoral Commission (EC) initiated its promotion.
“The publicity, to me is not enough. I don’t blame the Electoral Commission either because we are part of the problem for District Level Election. If it were to be a national election, Joy FM will establish the Election Headquarters, etc. to start a countdown from a year ahead of the election,” he said.
He added; “In the national election, political parties play a part. A day before the national election, you go to the Circle Terminal – you see all buses are full because some political parties facilitate the movement of their supporters to go to their electoral areas and vote.
“We don’t see the same in the District Level Election. So, there are so many deficits in the conduct, management and facilitation of District Level Election that require more sustained and intensified publicity.”
Mr Mensah’s comments come in the wake of a low turnout at the voting centres for the District Level Election. Initial reports highlight low voter participation, especially in urban areas. The Electoral Commission had anticipated a 60 percent turnout from all citizens.
However, despite intense publicity efforts to encourage participation, reports from various polling stations indicate a lower number of voters casting their ballots.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has rescheduled the district-level elections in some electoral areas in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions.
According to available information, the development is due to technical challenges involving the printing of ballots by the EC’s contractors.
In a statement signed by the Acting Head of Public Relations for the EC, Michael Boadu, the Commission said the affected areas are scheduled to participate in the exercise on Thursday, December 21, 2023.