The Greater Accra Regional National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has revived its regional inter-party dialogue committee in a move to deepen friendly political party discourse and encourage issue-based campaigns.
The new committee, seeking to quell any election related violence, has Reverend Cannon Patrick Okaijah Bortier as chairman, Mrs. Evelyn Amasa from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Vice Chairperson and Mrs. Lucille Hewlett Annan, Greater Accra Regional Director of NCCE, Secretary.
Though more political parties were billed to attend, only the National Democratic Congress and Convention People’s Party attended the meeting convened to restart the dialogue committee reformation process.
Traditional rulers, religious bodies, media, NCCE staff and security agencies also showed up and expressed their profound desire for the country to have a transparent electoral process.
Mrs. Annan said formation of the committee formed part of the NCCE’s project initiated to focus on mediation and resolution of petty conflicts during the election period.
She said the committee would monitor enforcement of political parties’ code of conduct, promote peaceful security conditions, tolerance and identify issues likely to trigger electoral conflicts.
Mrs. Josephine Nkrumah, NCCE Deputy Regional Chairperson responsible for Finance and Administration, said Ghanaians ought to appreciate the uninterrupted democracy governance which began when the country returned to constitutional rule in 1992.
“Ghana is among few states in Africa that is enjoying peaceful democracy but we should strive more than ever to keep the wheels of democracy turning.
“What we do as one people during elections, no one can do for us and, therefore, we must rise up responsibly and adhere to a conduct that assures us of free, fair, non-violent and peaceful elections,” Mrs. Nkrumah said.
“It is this democracy that we all seek to nurture and grow as it is intrinsically woven into the development of our country in all spheres,” she said.
Mrs. Nkrumah said the joint monitoring committee would report cases of breach of rules and regulations that govern the conduct of elections and maintenance of public order.
Some violations the committee seeks to monitor include: distribution of money and gifts to the electorate, declaration of election results by political parties and their members, defacing of posters, biased media reportage, campaign violence, use of intemperate, provocative and abusive language by political parties; rigging of elections and abuse of incumbency.
Mrs. Nkrumah indicated that “essential to the success of our elections is the clarity and flow of communication since lack of adequate information could lead to misinformation and festering of unnecessary resentment, an ingredient that can spark acts of non-adherence to electoral rules and lead to violence.