Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Media urged to help consolidate democracy

The Eastern Regional Director of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Mr Emmanuel Quaye-Sowah, has reminded the media of their role to consolidate democracy to ensure peaceful Election 2008.

He said the media could use their gate keeping role "to black out" any inflammatory speech or issue on a political platform likely to inflame passions in the run up to the elections.

"Election 2008 has been reduced to a straight contest of regaining power and retaining power. As educators we are to educate and guide players in the contest and devise strategies to prevent chaos," he said.

Mr Quaye-Sowah was speaking at a forum with media practitioners in Koforidua on Monday to sensitize the media and the public to ensure peaceful and violence free elections.

He explained that the role of the NCCE to educate people on their civic responsibilities and rights and the media's role to inform the public had a point of convergence hence the forum to map up strategies with the media for violence free election in the Region.

Mr Quaye-Sowah observed that Ghana had conducted four successive elections and was expected to undertake the December 7 polls without any setback but ugly developments from the registration exercise called for concern.

He said from all indications this years' election would be of the deepest anxieties "since the two dominant political parties by the grace of the sovereign will of the people have a good bite of the political pudding".

Mr Quaye-Sowah therefore stressed the need for stakeholders in Election 2008 to use the 1992 Constitution as the best reference in any endeavour so that its provisions guide them to conduct their activities in an acceptable manner.

He said NCCE's interest was to guide political parties to adhere to provisions in the constitution and denied that NCCE had conducted a poll on the elections.

Mr Quaye-Sowah explained that it was a survey on issues of concern to the electorate that had been blown out of proportion to misrepresent the NCCE.

He said as part of its mandate, NCCE periodically carried out surveys on issues to enable them strategies and cited the issue of child labour on cocoa farms.

Source: GNA

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