Mind your language! ….Political parties communicators told

Mrs Charlotte Osei(inset) EC Boss addressing the congregation on free and fair election at the forum.Photo.Ebo Gorman (2)Leaders of the various political parties have been urged to advise their communicators to be decorus when discussing national issues on media platforms.

According to Professor Kwame Karikari, Dean of School of Communication Studies at Wisconsin International College, that would help maintain sanity before and after the elections.

Prof. Karikari said this at a forum on Election 2016 organised by the Faith Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana for faith- based organisations in the Madina Municipality.

It was on the theme, ‘Be of one mind, live in peace’.

According to Prof. Karikari, party communicators should be held responsible for their comments, since many citizens took decisions based on some of their comments in the media.

“When we wake up, we want to hear from our leaders words of wisdom, sanity and of inspiration that will give us enlightenment, and not abusive words,” he stated.

He said hosts and representatives of political parties on radio programmes should substantiate allegations made against their opponents and to desist from false accusations, falsifying information and manufacturing allegations that did not exist.

xxxProf. Karikari urged citizens to demand from political parties to groom and produce leaders with high sense of responsibility, patriotic consciousness and self respect.

He advised the public to shun political parties that promote culture of intolerance on our media airwaves.

He however called for an independent judiciary that is defended and protected at all times. “If the rule of law is allowed to prevail, democratic institutions can be used to restrain media from becoming a dangerous weapon of violence and destruction of society,” he added.

On her part the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei said though the Commission was doing its part in ensuring free and fair elections, all must ensure that, they cast their votes on the day of elections in peace.

She opined that, the role of citizens in the electoral process is very important since without them, leaders cannot assume office to rule as a President and parliamentarians.

“We must all ensure that we vote peacefully to help elect the right leaders to lead and govern this dear nation of ours,” she added.

Mrs. Osei said that, unlike previous years when copies of the electoral register was given to political parties a day before voting, the register would be made available 42 days to the day of elections to help political parties get abreast with activities of the Commission before the election day.

The moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and chairman for the occasion, Rev. Professor Emmanuel Martey in his remarks said the budget for the Electoral Commission must be met to help ensure credible elections.

He was of the view that, there was intense pressure on the Electoral Commission due to the slim victories of political parties in the country.

“The Electoral Commission can’t perform its duties effectively without sufficient funds, hence the need for the government to ensure that the Electoral Commission is adequately resourced to function well,” he added.

Prof. Karikari further cautioned media practitioners to be firm and guided by experiences of other countries to desist from external forces that might influence their daily activities.

He expressed that, the media must avoid politicians who influence their professional integrity and reputation since bad reportage will not help in promoting the country’s democratic credentials.

By Daniel N. Amparbeng

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