Protestors in Ghana want new poll, clash with police

Demonstrators in Accra demand compilation of a new voters' register before next year's presidential and parliamentary elections

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Photo of protesters clashing with Ghana security forces.

Ghanaian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to bar oppposition protestors from the headquarters of the Electoral Commission (EC) who were requesting a new electorall roll in the capital Accra, police sources and eyewitnesses said on Wednesday. 

Police spokesman Cephas Arthur said at least 30 people have been detained, including members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), for violating a court injuction that barred the marchers from travelling to the offices of the EC.

Last month, the NPP demanded the electoral body build a new voter’s register before next year’s election and said the present electoral roll was bloated with the names of phony voters including those of Togolese nationals.

The claims helped trigger demonstrations on Wednesday to force the EC to scrutinize the electoral process.

Some protestors were wounded in clashes when water canons were used by scores of anti-riot police, eyewitnesses said.

The police were told to keep the planned march to routes agreed both police and the organisers.

"The police might have succeeded in ending the protest march prematurely by their expression of unreasonable brute force, but...we are not backing down on our request today or tomorrow," said David Asante, the lead organiser of the march.

President John Mahama wishes to return for a second term following next year’s election.

Despite recent events, Ghana is often touted as a model of stable democracy and rule of law in a region that has faced instability in the past. 

TRTWorld and agencies