Thursday, December 4, 2008

Media urged to ensure transparent and responsible reportage

The Ghanaian media have been urged to ensure transparent and responsible reportage, devoid of political affiliation, to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections on December 7.
     Mr. Abdul Malik Jeleel, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Media Advocacy Programme (G-MAP), a civil society organisation, who made the call, said credible elections were necessary for the socio-economic development of the country.
     He was speaking at a meeting between a three-member Ghanaian youth delegation and a Common Wealth Observer Group (COG) that arrived in Ghana to observe Ghana's Election 2008, in Accra on Wednesday.
      The youth delegation included Mr. Kwame Anane Frempong, regional representative of Student World Assembly, Ghana, and Mr. Denise Appiah, president of the Federation of Youth Association of Ghana.
     Mr. Appiah called on all stakeholders in the electoral process to show commitment to free, fair and transparent elections.
     He said "We the youth are embarking on activities as part of our responsibilities in ensuring that the election becomes peaceful devoid of any violent act of which the youth will be used as instruments and perpetrators".
     The meeting formed part of the mandate of COG to engage in a focused discussion with key stakeholders in the civil society, to solicit their views and determine their roles in the forthcoming elections.
     It also discussed the role of the Ghanaian youth in the election process, youth voters, their level of participation and involvement, engagement with presidential and parliamentary candidates and challenges of the process among other issues.
     The Seven-member Common Wealth Observer Group (COG) is chaired by Baroness Valerie Amos, former leader of the House of Lords in the UK.
     Other members were Ms. Cynthia Barrow-Giles, lecturer and member of the Commonwealth Reform Commission at the University of West Indies St. Lucia, Ms. Sarika Katoch, Commonwealth Regional Youth Caucus representative; and Mr. O.O. Akeredolu San, President of the Nigerian Bar Association.
     The rest are Mr. Simon Clarke, election expert from the UK, Mr. Algassimu Sahid Jaar, Commissioner of the National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone, and Mr. Gary Guerin Ouelle, a former Canadian Returning Officer.

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