EC renews warning on electoral offences and penalties

VoteThe Electoral Commission (EC) has reiterated that it is a violation of the laws governing the District Level Elections(DLE), for any political party, identifiable group or individual to mount a platform to campaign for a candidate.

Mr Christian Owusu Parry, Public Affairs Director of the Commission stressed that any individual or group, who desired to support the mounting of a platform, should make the resources available to the commission to be used for the benefit of all candidates.

He was speaking at a day’s interactive workshop organized in Cape Coast for representatives of some Civil Society organizations, Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Organization and the media in the Central Region.

Funded by the European Union, the workshop was to educate the public on the electoral process and sensitize all identifiable groups to mobilize communities to play watchdog roles at polling stations.

It was also to safeguard the electoral process by insisting on candidates’ compliance to the basic rules of fairness, as provided in the electoral laws and code of conduct.

The DLE, slated for Tuesday September 1, was earlier scheduled for, March 3, but the Supreme Court ordered its suspension because a disqualified aspirant in the Efutu constutitecny sued the EC over the use of inappropriate legislation.

Mr. Parry underscored that the DLE was strictly non-partisan, and that, candidates seeking elections must present themselves as individuals to be voted for based on their competence and acceptability.

He said candidates, who associate themselves with any political party or uses the symbols or paraphernalia and receives sponsorships from any party in their campaign, would be disqualified whilst that political party would be sanctioned.

He said before the suspension of the DLE, a candidate in the Ashanti Region, who displayed his political party membership card at the background of his campaign poster, was disqualified.

Mr Parry noted that the enthusiasm in the DLE was not as strong as in the parliamentary and presidential elections and appealed to media practitioners to attach importance to the DLE and whip up the interest of the electorate.

The EC Member for the region, Mrs. Pauline Dadzawa stressed the importance of the DLE in nation building and appealed to the electorate to patronize the September 1 election.

She said though there were calls for the DLE to be politicized, the EC will continue to see the involvement of political parties in the elections as illegal until the electoral laws were changed.

She advised Ghanaians and the media, especially, not to inflame passions during the elections but protect the peace the country was currently enjoying.

The Central Regional Director of the commission Mrs. Philomena Edusei, urged the electorate not to allow themselves to be induced with money but rather vote for the candidates who can champion their cause and spearhead development in the community.

Participants were taken through topics like “the importance of the Ghanaian Voter and the DLE”, “DLE Regulations/Main features”, “ Electoral Reforms”, “ Election Monitoring and Observation” and “Election offences and penalties”.

Source: GNA

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