Ashaiman, Nov. 17, GNA – The Ashaiman Municipal office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has formed and inaugurated its 2020 election Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) to promote peace and credible elections.
The NCCE, as a means of deepening and consolidating the records of Ghana in upholding the 1992 constitution and conducting seven successive elections peacefully, initiated the formation of the IPDCs in all districts to act as a buffer zone in the constituencies to stem the tide of unnecessary suspicions and anxiety among political parties especially.
The Committee which is to collaborate with other peacebuilding stakeholders would also provide effective strategies aimed at achieving free, fair, and peaceful elections in 2020.
Members of the Ashaiman IPDC which is chaired by Nii Annang Adjor, Regent of Ashaiman, is made up of representives of political parties, Electoral Commission, religious groups, youth groups, women groups, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), Municipal Security Taskforce, NCCE, and the media.
As part of their mandate, the Committee would monitor key violations including the distribution of money, and other gifts to the electorate, declaration of election results by political parties and their members, defacing of posters, biased media reportage, campaign violence, use of provocative and abusive language by political parties and their members, rigging of elections, and abuse of incumbency.
Madam Gifty Agyeiwaa Badu, Ashaiman NCCE Director, said the IPDC was one of the flagship programmes of the Commission which would enable stakeholders to engage with political parties to put in place measures that would reduce political tension, and encourage the citizens to respect divergent views.
Madam Badu added that, “political tolerance is the key to the success of democracy as it ensures national unity, stability and development. Further to this, Article 35 (9) of the 1992 Constitution acknowledges the importance of political tolerance in our democracy which enjoins the state to promote among the people of Ghana the culture of Political Tolerance”.
Mr Albert Boakye Okyere, Ashaiman Municipal Chief Executive inaugurating the Committee said Ashaiman had been tagged as one of the flashpoints in the 2020 elections and therefore it behooved on all stakeholders to change the narrative and bad perception of the area.
Mr Okyere called for togetherness among stakeholders especially the two political parties stressing that in every action they would take, they must put Ghana and Ashaiman first as that was the only place they could call home.
Nii Adjor cautioned the political parties from instigating the youth into rioting and causing damage in their quest to protect their parochial interest, saying “we all know that it is the parties that send their boys to cause mayhem”.
He entreated traditional leaders in the Municipality not intercede for any person apprehended for committing electoral fraud and engaging in violent activities to serve as a deterrent to others.
Chief Superintendent Samuel Amissah, Ashaiman Divisional Police Commander, gave the assurance that the MUSEC had put in place all the needed security measures to ensure that a free, fair, and peaceful election would be conducted in Ashaiman.
Chief Supt. Amissah said Ashaiman was the second largest constituency in Ghana with a voter population of 167,000 saying that it was an indication that the tendency for violence to break out was possible but all stakeholders must contribute their quota to avert it.
“Speak to the youth always not to accept monies from politicians to cause trouble or go and seize ballot boxes, let them know that the ballot box does not belong to any political parties but the state, ” he added.
Representatives of the political parties pledged their resolve not to engage in violence and electoral fraud as they agreed that they were connected to each other through intermarriages and friendships.