Achieving a free, fair and transparent election in 2016 is a collective responsibility and every Ghanaian must contribute to ensure a peaceful election, Dr Kwesi Jonah, Assistant Executive Director, Institute of Democratic Governance, has said.
He said Ghanaians must realise the need to sustain the peace in order to create a conducive environment, and economic and social prosperity for both present and future generations.
Dr Jonah was speaking at a lecture on the theme: “Reforming Ghana’s Electoral System – A pre-condition for Peaceful Elections in 2016” in Accra, organised by the Today Newspaper, a subsidiary of Groupe Nduom (GN).
Speaking on the topic: “How to Ensure Transparency and Accountability in the 2016 Elections,’’ Dr Jonah said political parties, civil society organisations and all institutions that performed election related functions could play a number of roles to ensure that the 2016 election was peaceful, transparent and credible.
They could do this by educating the public, advocating for peace and monitoring every single major process in the election, he said.
Dr Jonah said political parties could promote transparency and accountability by actively participating in deliberative and consultative processes through inter party advisory committees and by monitoring and supervising every important election process.
He urged political parties to appoint educated people to be polling agents to ensure accountability.
He said Ghana must always be on the guard by adopting a police patrol approach to closely move round to monitor the electoral process and maintain law and order before, during, and after the elections.
Mr Akwasi Boakye-Akyeampong, an IT Consultant, who spoke on the topic: “Emerging Technologies that can Transform Elections,’’ said if Ghana replicated other countries in Europe by voting electronically, it would eliminate the number of errors committed, reduce time spent at the polling stations and expenses in recruiting and transporting electoral materials.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, the Today Newspaper instituted the “Today Annual Lectures” to support the country’s growing democracy.
Mr Richmond Keelson, the Acting General Manager of Today Newspaper, said the lecture was aimed at contributing to the development agenda of the country and ensuring that the country’s democratic dispensation was firmly rooted.