By Elsie Appiah-Osei, GNA
Accra, Aug 16, GNA
– The Electoral Commission (EC) has adopted 27 electoral reforms to make the
Elections 2016, more transparent and credible Mrs Charlotte Osei, the EC
Chairperson has stated.
year, after announcing the result, there would be big screens where results
would be projected for everybody in the community to see the results,” Mrs
Osei said at the 2016 Forum on Election at the Faith Congregation Presbyterian
Church of Ghana, Madina Estate.
Mrs Osei said the
Commission is resolute in its conviction to ensure a peaceful election,
stressing: “We are committed to ensuring an electoral process that guarantees
people the right to cast their ballots without intimidation or violence.”
The forum, which
was organised by the Ecumenical and Social Relations Committee of the
Presbyterian Church of Ghana, aimed at empowering citizens to fulfill a crucial
national responsibility of meeting a spiritual election; and brought together
the clergy, political parties, security agencies, the media and public to
discuss election, religion, environment, policies and education.
Speaking on the
topic: “Elections 2016, How Credible, Free and Fair would it be,” Mrs
Osei, commended the Presbyterian Church Madina District for a proactive
initiative aimed at building bridges towards ensuring a peaceful electoral
process and outcome in 2016.
Sheikh Awal Larry,
a Muslim Cleric, expressed worry about the negative comments about the
elections and noted that it undermines the integrity, peace, respect and rule
of law of the country.
He has therefore
charged Ghanaians to make leaders who fall victim of such acts accountable for
their derogatory remarks.
should come out and condemn leaders who use unwarranted words in the
country,” he said.
Sheikh Larry expressed
worry at how Muslims are being used to cause problems in the country saying:
“Majority of the people who have allowed themselves to be used to cause
mayhem by politicians are Muslims.
Invisible Forces and Azorka Boys for instance, most of them are Muslims and
Muslim belief doesn’t promote violence, instead we stand for peace”.
He therefore called
on all especially Muslims and the youth not to allow themselves to be used by
any political party to cause violence as no political party could change them.
Speaking on the
theme: “Be of one mind, Live in Peace,” Professor Kwame Karikari, the
Dean of Communication Studies of the Wisconsin International University
College, Accra; noted that it is very important for citizens to condemn the
culture of political communication in the media and on public platforms.
one very important ingredient is tolerance and accommodation of differing,
contrasting and opposing viewpoints.
“The way in
which political parties are using radio in promoting a culture of intolerance,
they are using thuggery to silence opponents and legitimate critics of their
words and deeds, this is why so many people sometimes say that the violent
language on radio threatens peace,” he said.
The Right Reverend
Professor Emmanuel Martey, the Moderator of General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church of Ghana, urged the media to be professional nation
builders through their works.
He also urged civil
society, being principal actors who have crucial role in free, fair and credible
elections not to be passive as that is Ghana’s major democratic challenge.
Kaakyire Duku-Frimpong, a Senior Lecturer, Political Science Department,
University of Ghana also expressed concern about irrelevant arguments, not
abiding by election rules and regulations, influenced by gifts before voting
among others as some of the negative vices that hinder peaceful elections.
He advised citizens
to refrain from such behaviours for credible, free, fair and transparent
elections to be achieved.
A bible was
presented to Mrs Osei to signify peace and harmony.