Ghana: Media Practitioners End Two-Day Workshop On 2012 Elections

The Volta Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Madam Laurentia Kpatakpa, has called on media practitioners to ensure that they play crucial roles that would promote a successful electoral process during the forthcoming general elections, to help ensure peace during, and after the election.

Madam Kpatakpa noted that the media was noted for its development role in enhancing the socioeconomic development of the country, but at the same time, could disturb the peace.

She stressed that the media should, at all times, ensure that their activities are aimed at deepening democratic practices, as well as supporting the development process of the nation to remain paramount.

The Volta Regional Director of the EC, who made the call during a two- day training workshop for media practitioners at Sokode-Lokoe in the Ho Municipality, pointed out that the EC and other stakeholders recognised the media as key partners in the development process of the nation, particularly during elections.

The workshop was sponsored by the USAID, in collaboration with the EC.

She advised media practitioners to observe all the electoral rules and regulations, and avoid the situation where they go on the airwaves to announce results that were uncertified by the EC.

She further charged media personnel to ensure that they at all times consult personnel of the Commission in order to ensure a smooth exercise.

Madam Kpatakpa explained that the returning and presiding officers played important roles in the electoral process, and urged them to work within the specified rules so as to ensure that peace prevailed at the polling centers.

She also urged the various political parties to appoint agents who would show greater commitment to duty on the day of the elections, advising that there was the need for them to live up to expectations, because their actions and inactions could negatively affect the peaceful process of the polls.

The Volta Regional Director of the EC assured the electorates that in cases where they lost their voters ID cards, but were sure that they had registered, such people would be allowed to vote because their names would be in the voters register, but cautioned that those who failed to verify as to whether their names were in the register could not cast their votes if their names were not found.

Madam Kpatakpa disclosed that her outfit had put in place, what she called queue-controllers, at the various polling stations to help in directing voters to join queues in a peaceful manner.

She revealed that verification machines had been provided at all the 2,283 polling stations in the Volta Region, with adequate back-up at the regional office in Ho.

She announced that a special arrangement had been made to support nursing mothers, the physically challenged and elderly to ensure that they would be allowed to cast their votes early, and would not be made to join long queues at the various polling stations, so as to ensure that such people did not go through stressful situations on the day of voting.

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