EC schools political party youth wings on electoral offences

By Iddi
Yire, GNA

Accra, Sept 21, GNA – The Electoral Commission
(EC) has schooled political party youth wings in the Ayawaso East and North
Constituencies on the various electoral offences.

An electoral offence could be described as an
act of omission or commission on the part of an individual or persons that
risks compromising the outcome of an election. 

Mr Nantogmah Abdul-Rashid, the District
Electoral Officer of Ayawaso, speaking at an engagement with political party
youth activists, said it was an offence to deliberately obstruct or interfere
with the work of an electoral officer.

The one-day seminar, which was attended by 40
youth from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party
(NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) the Progressive People’s Party (PPP)
and the People’s National Convention (PNC) was organised by the Accra
Metropolitan Office of the National Commission for Civil Education (NCCE) in
collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization and the EC.

The objective was to educate the youth of the
various political parties on the need to ensure peace before, during and after
the 2016 general election.

Using PNDC Law 284, the Representation of the
People Law, 1992, Mr Abdul-Rashid said it was an offence to register more than
once throughout the entire country.

He said that it was an offence to offer false
information for purpose of nomination as a candidate and to nominate more than
one candidate in a particular election.

Others are attempting to vote before poll
officially opens or after it formally closes, voting or attempting to vote in
the name of another person, living, dead or fictitious and putting anything
other than a ballot paper into the ballot box.

The rest are removal or defacing any notice or
poster lawfully displayed in connection with an election, forging or destroying
a nomination form, ballot paper, an election result or any form related to an
election.

He said it is an offence for anyone to print
or be in possession of a ballot paper without lawful authority, or to be in
possession of a ballot box or tamper with ballot box or its content during
election.

Mr Abdul-Rashid said other forms of electoral
offences were compelling somebody to vote in a particular way, impeding or
preventing a voter from freely exercising his/her voting right and also
assisting a political party or a candidate to gain unfair advantage over
others.

He mentioned giving or accepting anything of
value for the purposes of voting or refraining from voting also constituted an
electoral offence.

He also cautioned the youth against organising
or training a group of persons in the use of force, violence or vituperative
songs, with a view to committing disharmony or a breach of the peace or gaining
an unfair advantage in an election.

Chief Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, Adabraka
District Police Commander urged the public to have confidence in personal of
the Ghana Police Service.

He said the police together with other state
security agencies would secure the security of the nation before, during and
after the December 7, general election.

He cautioned the youth against allowing
themselves to be used by others to cause violence.

He said it was essential that Ghanaians
cooperate with the security agencies in protecting the citizenry, since
maintaining security is everyone’s responsibility.

He urged all and sundry to abide by the laws
of the country.

Mrs Lucille Hewlett Annan, the Greater Accra
Regional Director of the NCCE, said elections were about contest of ideas and
therefore, Ghanaians should not see their political opponents as their enemies.

She said it was high time Ghanaians learn
lessons from nations such as Sierra Leone and Kenya, who went through terrible
violence due to electoral dispute.

She urged politicians to follow due process of
the law in addressing their grievances.

Mrs Annan also advised all would be winners in
the December 7 general election to jubilate with moderation.

The youth in a communiqué at the end of the
meeting pledged to ensure violent free elections in their respective
constituencies.

It was issued by General Ollabode Williams of
the NDC, Alhaji Buhari Yakubu of the NPP, Mr Mohammed Hadi Abdallah of the CPP,
Mr Mohammed Hadi Ismail of the PNC and Mr Bilal Abubakar Adam of the PPP.

GNA

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