IEA-NCCE begin election 2012 educational campaign

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Thursday began a nation-wide regional educational and awareness creation campaign for a peaceful election 2012.

The programme, which commenced through a workshop in Sunyani, was on the theme: “Towards Violence-Free Election in Ghana; the 2012 Code of Conduct for Political Parties”. It was sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It was attended by about 100 participants including the media, traditional rulers, security personnel, political parties’ representatives and activists of non-governmental as well as civil society organisations in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

Participants were taken through a documentary on “ensuring a peaceful election 2012 with case studies from conflict-prone countries” in Africa such as Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Egypt, Rwanda and Tunisia.

Brigadier-General Francis Agyemfra (Rtd), Visiting Senior Fellow of IEA, following the documentary, noted that all the political parties in the country were determined to win the election but that was beginning to create tension.

He said since the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution, election 2012 was the sixth to be conducted, indicating that the five previous ones were adjudged free and fair, hence the December 7 polls “stands to be a real test case of our democracy”.

Brig-Gen. Agyemfra, therefore, drew attention of Ghanaians to lessons of killings and atrocities, human right abuses and destruction of properties in war-ravaged countries, emphasizing that “once election conflict and violence start, it does not end”.

The IEA fellow cited he was in Congo for peace-keeping mission in 1963, saying for almost 50 years now the war had not ended because “they are still fighting over political power”.

Earlier in a welcoming address, he highlighted the mandate of the National and Regional Enforcement Bodies of the “Political Parties Code of Conduct 2012”, explaining the Code makes explicit provisions against a number of electoral offences.

Brig-Gen. Agyemfra gave some examples as hampering the rights of other political parties and candidates to put their views across to the electorate, and disrupting rallies or meetings organised by other political parties or candidates.

“Defamatory, inflammatory and foul language, as well as provocative, derogatory and insulting attacks on other parties, personalities, ethnic and religious groups are other offences, he added.

Mrs Augustina Akumanyi, Deputy Chair of NCCE, in a slide presentation, educated participants on the content of the 23-page Code signed by representatives of eight political parties, herself and Mrs. Fanny Judith Kumah of NCCE and Professor A.K.P. Kludze, Visiting Fellow of IEA.

The political parties were National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party, Convention People’s Party, People’s National Convention, Democratic Freedom Party, Great Consolidated Popular Party, Every Ghanaian Living Every Where, and the United Renaissance Party.

Mr Abdulai Issah Nasagri, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of NCCE, mentioned Sankore in the Asunafo South District and Techiman North Constituency as the hot spots in the region and that his outfit was giving the necessary education to avoid sordid occurrences, not only in those areas but the entire region in election 2012.

Source: GNA

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