30 November 2012

Ghana: Political Youth Activists Affirm Commitment to Peace

Photo: Ghana Govt
President John Dramani Mahama at his swearing in ceremony. (file photo).

POLITICAL YOUTH groups in the Sekyere East District of Ashanti have affirmed their commitment to ensuring peaceful elections next month.

The youth activists drawn from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), Convention Peoples Party (CPP), People's National Convention (PNC) and the National Democratic Party (NDP) as well as representatives of civil society organisations, religious groups, opinion leaders and heads of departments.

In a five-point communiqué issued at a day's workshop, the participants promised to abide by rules and regulations governing the electoral process to ensure peaceful elections. The workshop was held under the theme: 'Empowering the Youth to Stand Up for Ghana for a peaceful election 2012'.

The participants, considering that Ghana is greater than any political party and against the background that Ghana is the only country for Ghanaians, whose survival depends on Ghana's survival promised to abide by the electoral laws to ensure peaceful, free, and fair elections.

They pledged not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to foment trouble before, during and after the elections.

Speaking on the topic: "The Public order Act and Election 2012 - prospects and challenges", the District Command of Police, DSP Mr. Charles Koosono commended the political parties in the constituency for peaceful co-existence.

He explained that Act 491 passed by parliament in 1994 is to regulate how people go about in organizing special events including demonstrations, political rallies, processions, carnivals and festivals.

The commander emphasized that organizers of such special events were duty bound to write to the police five clear days before the event takes place and that police expected to be informed about details of such events like date, place, time of commencement and end of the programme.

DSP Koosono indicated that failure on the part of the organizers to abide by Act 491, is punishable by a fine of GH¢200.00 or year's imprisonment or both.

Mr. Todemeho Missinou, the District Electoral Officer, assured the gathering of the commission's preparedness to organize free, fair and transparency elections, come the December 7 general elections.

The electoral officer, making a presentation on the topic: "The electoral process", stated that election is not an event, but a process which start with the demarcation of electoral areas, biometric registration, and exhibition of voters' registers and printing of ballot papers. He said currently training of the various electoral officers for the election was on going.

The electoral officer, therefore, appealed to the gathering to abide by the rules governing the elections on December 7.

The Regional Director of National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Mr. Yakubu Alhassan implored on the political parties to abide by the political parties' code of conduct, saying it was not for nothing that code of conduct was prescribed for the political parties.

He entreated the various political groups not to allow themselves to be used to engage in any activities that would derail the electoral process.

Mr. Alhassan appealed to the youth as future leaders to channel their energy into more productive ventures.

Mr. Victor Nuworkor, the District Director of NCCE stated that elections in some parts of Africa have not been the best since they brought in untold hardship and stress, violence and wanton destruction to lives and properties.

He said Ghana has carved a niche for itself as a beacon of hope and the rest of the world were watching us as the December 7 polls draws nearer.

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