Sunday, August 24, 2008

Political parties advised not to see themselves as enemies

The Most Reverend Thomas Kwaku Mensah, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, has urged political parties and their followers not to regard themselves as enemies but to campaign peacefully as the country was preparing towards the December 7 polls. He noted that Ghanaians cherish peace, stability, democracy and development and that nothing should be done to thwart the effort of the country towards the attainment of such objectives.

Most Rev Mensah was speaking at the National Civic and Voter Education Programme organized by the Dialogue and Advocacy for Good Governance (DAGG), a non-governmental Organization (NGO) of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference in Kumasi on Friday.

The programme attended by over 70 participants selected from the various diocese of the Catholic Church was under the theme: "A Well Informed Electorate-An Asset to our Fledgling Democracy". He said Ghana should be seen as beacon of hope for all the people in the Sub-Sahara and asked Ghanaians to work hard to support the Electoral Commission (EC) to ensure violent free elections. Most Rev Mensah advised the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to intensify its educational programmes to sensitize the people towards their political awareness as citizens of the country. The Archbishop called on the Media to give accurate and genuine reportage on events and avoid any sensationalism which could resort to violence, chaos and other negative practices Mr David Kangah, Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission said, according to the national census the total population of the country is 22 million as against the EC's figure of 20 million people. He said such a problem in the disparities in the population census was likely to affect the credibility of the elections and hoped that the EC would work harder to address such problem to enable the country has a credible voters register. He disclosed that the EC targeted one million people in the recent voter's registration exercise and regretted that the number exceeded the target because a quite number of unexpected people took part in the registration exercise.

The Deputy Chairman announced that the Commission would soon mount an exhibition of voters register to enable the Commission weed out all bad elements in the voters register. Mr. Kangah stressed the need for observers and polling agents to be vigilant in polling centres to monitor and supervise the elections to ensure incident free elections. He commended the church for its contributions towards socio-economic and political development towards improving the living conditions of the people. Mrs. Augustina A. Akumanyi, Deputy Chairperson in-charge of Programmes of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), said the Commission was doing its best to raise the level of political awareness on the roles and responsibilities of the people in the country. She appealed to the government to resource the Commission with adequate funds and logistics to enable it work efficiently and effectively. Monsignor Douglas Peters, Vicar Peters in a welcoming address said that DAGG has been vibrant and more participatory democratic society that seeks good governance towards a just and dignified society. She called on the participants to help enlighten the people on their civic roles and responsibilities to help ensure accelerated growth of the country.
Source: GNA

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