2 days to go for Ghana's 2012 general elections and on the day the special voting is taking place for security personnel and elections officers, elections stories dominate most pages of the Ghanaian newspapers. We lead today's review with the Ghanaian Times front page story Play It Fair which says the president, John Mahama, has thrown a challenge to the other political party leaders to demonstrate to the their followers that they are committed to a free, fair and transparent elections, on Friday.
"Let us allow our people to exercise their franchise freely and let the ballot speak, "president Mahama told a group of journalists, in brief message of peace to the nation yesterday. The Daily Graphic also chronicled the same story with the headline Prez Calls for Peace in Friday's Election and adds that "the fact that the country had held five successful elections was a clear indication that the forthcoming elections would also be successful and peaceful.
More on peace efforts ahead of the elections as PPP calls for cool heads. The Progressive people's party (PPP) has impressed upon their followers to ensure peace before ,during and after the general elections on Friday. It also urged the media to be neutral in their reportage and exhibit a high sense of professionalism in covering the elections. The Ghanaian Times reports.
Another story making headlines is the special voting today which the Daily Graphic reports that security personnel and staff of the Electoral Commission (EC) who will be on duty on Election Day will take part in special voting today. The process comes two days ahead of the main election set for Friday, December 7.
Also in the Daily Graphic, machomen say no to violence and the paper has it that, an association of body builders has made it categorically clear that machomen will not become instruments of violence and intimidation during and after Friday's elections. Christened Machomen for Good and Justice, the association admitted that politicians had, in the past, misled some of them into committing atrocities across the country during elections, only for those politicians to avoid them after the polls.
According to the Finder, Kumasi boils - ahead of Friday's elections. The paper claims the two front- runner parties have intensified their attacks on each other in the last week of the elections, raising the political temperature in the country. The tension has been especially palpable in Kumasi, a traditional hotbed of Ghanaian politics, where the paper correspondent says the ruling National Democratic Party(NDC) has overtaken New Patriotic Party(NPP) in media adverts and logistics. Most significant in raising the temperature in the region has been the mushrooming of groups supporting the NDC in the region, triggering question about how these groups and activities are funded.
The Finder also informs its readers that the Accra Command Establishs Media Centre and reports that a media centre has been established at the Police College in Tesano by the Accra Regional Police Command to provide information on election security - related issues. The centre, according to the Accra Regional Public Relations Officer, DSP Freeman Tettey, would direct reporters when necessary to the appropriate commanders on the field.
He said the appropriate commanders have the mandate of the police administration to answer media queries on specific security concerns. DSP Tettey said, "Reporters are therefore advised to visit the centre in the event of media queries or contact the centre on the following dedicated telephone numbers for any assignment relating to security during the elections. The numbers are 0299201368, 0208848629, 0266060199 and 0299201271.
The final story for today's elections stories review is centres on the headline story by the Daily Graphic which says 'Voters Can't Take Cameras into Election Booths'. The Electoral Commission has asked voters not to take cameras into the election booths. The EC said persons voting on Election Day must keep ballots secret to protect the integrity of the elections.