The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has launched an education and awareness-raising campaign on the upcoming District Level Election (DLE) and referendum in Accra yesterday.
It was in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Electoral Commission (EC) and the Information Service Department (IDS).
In her remarks, the chairperson for the NCCE, Madam Josephine Nkrumah said her outfit was ready to amplify awareness and educate the citizenry on the DLE and the referendum.
She said, “NCCE will use diverse strategies, including regional level launches, community durbars, stakeholder meetings, focus group discussions, film shows, dawn and dusk broadcasts, field visits, engagements at lorry stations, market places and other public places, traditional and social media and the production of various educational materials to send the message across to people.”
She urged members of the public to turn out massively on December 17 and participate in the elections, adding that Ghanaians had always sought to improve the system of decentralised government in a manner that captured meaningful decentralisation that further deepened the tenets of participatory democracy.
According to Madam Nkrumah, the election of MMDCEs would ensure responsiveness and accountability of MMDCEs and the competence of candidates who stood for the elections.
Launching it, the minister for MLGRD, Hajia Halima Mahama, indicated that Ghana’s democratic development had witnessed significant progress at the national level, adding that the only deficit was the absence of a system to properly elect MMDCEs.
The election, she said, would, among others, promote local democracy by affording local people the opportunity to choose their own leaders and give meaning to popular participation in local governance.
She urged the media to support the campaign by increasing reportage on the referendum, and advised Ghanaians to turn out in the numbers and vote.
The Director of Electoral Services, EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, on his part revealed that DLEs in Ghana had over the years gone through some legal and administrative reforms aimed at improving the responsiveness of the electoral process to public desires and expectations.
He expressed worry about the lack of enthusiasm by the public to actively participate in DLEs, pointing out that, past DLEs had also shown that only a handful of women and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) were either elected or appointed to the district assemblies.
Dr Quaicoe also advised political parties to ensure they abide by the rules of the game and desist from sponsoring or campaigning for candidates, while candidates, must also be cautious and make sure they do not infringe on the rules of the elections by using party slogans, colours and symbols in their campaigns.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU