Politicians advised to support EC to reduce rejected ballots

By Comfort Sena Fetrie, GNA

Tamale, Aug 31, GNA
– Mr Caesar Abagali, Northern Regional Chairman of Ghana Journalists
Association (GJA) has advised politicians to stop the media war and join the
Electoral Commission (EC) to embark on voter education.

This, he said would
reduce the problem of rejected ballot, which would be in their own interests.

He explained that
the rejected ballots recorded in the 2012 elections were more than the votes
that some political parties garnered, which should be a worry to all.

“If those rejected
votes were valid votes cast in favour of any of the leading political parties,
a different story might have been told,” he said.

Mr Abagali gave the
advice on Tuesday during a two-day capacity building for staff of the EC and
National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) in Tamale.

The training, which
was organized by the EC with support from the USAID, was to enlighten the staff
on the Commission’s communication strategy, electoral processes, procedures,
and decision making, to work towards building more public trust and confidence in
the EC.

Mr Abagali who is
also the Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency said: “The continuous high
recorded numbers of rejected ballot during elections is a serious matter that
needs the commitment of not only staff of the EC and the NCCE to help address
but also the commitment of politicians who are the main beneficiaries to help
in the voter education as means of addressing the problem.”

He explained that
if politicians stop battling and insulting one another in the media, creating
unnecessary enemies and tension but strategise and educate the electorate on
how to vote to reduce rejected ballot, they would win more votes than the media
war.

He urged the
Commission to provide their staff with the needed information, which would help
carry out their duties efficiently and effectively throughout the preparation
towards this year’s election.

He said it is
essential for the EC and NCCE to educate the voters especially those in the
rural areas about the incoming election for them to organise themselves adequately
towards it.

Mr Abagali took
participants through aspects of the EC’s Communication Strategy and advised the
Commission’s staff to adhere to laid down rules and regulations spelled out in
the strategy to improve levels of trust.

Mr Bruce Ayisi, Regional
Director of the EC advised the participants to build trust, respect and also
dignity to their clients to make sure the commission accomplishes credible,
free and fair elections.

He assured the
public that the EC would be a Benchmark in Africa for enabling independent,
trusted, world class and democratic elections for citizens and candidates.

GNA

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