Political parties should not form unauthorised monitoring teams – Stakeholders
They explained that such unauthorized bodies among political parties have the potential of creating violence.
The Youth in Election (YiEl) Project had provided the forum for participants in Wa on Wednesday, aimed at contributing to a reduction in conflicts and violence among the youth of political parties in Upper West Region during the 2012 elections.
The representatives advised political parties to work with their members who would be accredited by the Electoral Commission to carry out the monitoring of the elections on their behalf.
The West Africa Network for Peace building –Ghana (WANEP-Ghana) organised the forum for youth leaders of major political parties with financial assistance from the Australian High Commission to enhance interaction between and among youth wings of the various political parties in the Region.
The National Democratic Congress, (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), People’s National Convention (PNC) and Convention People’s Party (CPP) as well as officials from National Commission for Civic Education and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, among others attended the forum.
The Youth leaders noted that most of the election related violence recorded in the Region during the last polls was caused by the “these so-called unauthorized political party monitoring teams” who usually crisscross various polling stations in the constituencies to monitor the elections on behalf of some political parties.
They suggested that the local people and the security personnel as well as the agents of the various political parties should be given the mandate to monitor the polling stations this time round to avoid violence.
The representatives appealed to political activists and communicators to employ civil language on radio and avoid personal attacks and character assassination while care should be taken to stop the registration of minors.
The youth leaders called for sustained efforts to build in the youth the spirit of tolerance while the capacity building of media practitioners was developed to promote accurate reporting on the elections.
The participants advised the security agencies to provide equal opportunities and level play grounds for all political parties and their supporters.
Mr. Justin Bayor, National Network Coordinator of WANEP- Ghana, said the ultimate project strategy was to establish Inter party Youth Dialogue Committee (IPYDC) in Wa to enable them dialogue with each other through the institution of activities that promote dialogue and exchange.
He said the IPYDC would be charged with the responsibilities of overseeing conflict hotspots within the Region and work closely with the Youth of the political parties in those areas to ensure that there was peace during the 2012 elections.
Mrs Catherine Bob-Milliar, Chairperson of WANEP-Ghana, said election related violence as experienced in Cote d’Ivoire was not something Ghana should aspire to achieve.
She therefore charged members of the IPYDC to work together to enhance communication among the Youth to dispel rumours and insist in mitigating violence in their communities.