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[Published: Wednesday October 22 2008]

Ghana 's Hajj pilgrims get vote

Accra , 23 Oct-(ANA)- Ghana 's electoral commission hasannounced special arrangements so Muslim pilgrims going to Mecca for the Hajj can vote in polls on 7December.

The annual religiousjourney in Saudi Arabiais scheduled to take place between 30 November and 20 December.

Those going to the Hajjwill be able to appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf on election day.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000Muslims are expected to make the trip this year.

President John Kufour - ofthe governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) - is standing down after two terms inoffice, and a tight race is expected.

The electoral commissionsays no early voting will be allowed and the proxy voter must be a registeredvoter in the same constituency and polling area as the absent voter.

The process already existsfor servicemen on UN missions, people on diplomat missions and certain studentsabroad, our reporter says.

Although a minoritycommunity in Ghana,Muslims dominate the three northern regions, he says.

Historically, the majorityof votes from these regions have gone to the main opposition NationalDemocratic Congress.(ANA)

FA/ANA/23 October 2008---

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