Member of Parliament for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, Muntaka Mubarak, voted in the 2020 general election by assisting his six-year-old daughter to place her thumbprint on his ballot paper.
Muntaka, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for the constituency, did so in full view of electoral officers at the polling centre.
His daughter was seen obeying the instructions of her father as they went through the voting process.
When asked about his actions, the legislator justified the move, saying he has not done anything untoward because he was just taking his daughter through the process of casting a ballot.
“If you see her, she’s only six years old. She doesn’t even understand what’s going on. I raised her thumb and did the thumbprinting; it was virtually me doing it. If I had given it to her, she would not have even known what to do. She’s my princess and I came with her during the last elections. I’m just taking her through the process”, he explained.
Meanwhile, Muntaka Mubarak, who has been unhappy with recent events in the constituency over alleged police intimidation to NDC members is however hopeful of retaining the seat after today’s polls.
“I am very confident that whatever happens, democracy will be victorious today. So far, all of us have seen that the process is going on smoothly. Everything is calm because every polling station started well. I have taken updates from my reps from all the 206 polling stations in the constituency and everything is cool. I have no doubt on my mind that the people of Asawase are going to retain me. I am super confident that the people are going to retain me at the end of the day”, he said.
What the law says
Article 49 (1) of the 1992 constitution states that “at any public election or referendum,” voting shall be by secret ballot.
Additionally, the election regulation regarding assistance in voting also stipulates that: “the presiding officer, on the application of a voter who is incapacitated because of blindness or other physical cause from voting in the manner directed in these Regulations, shall permit the voter to be assisted by a person of his own choice.
When he [Presiding Officer] accedes to the request of a voter under sub-regulation, the presiding officer shall record in the register opposite the name of the voter the fact that the voter was assisted and the reason for the assistance.”