Cape Coast, Feb. 26, GNA – The National Commission for Civic Education has called for massive support for Persons with Disability (PWDs) and female candidates in the District Assembly elections come Tuesday March 3.
Mr. Peter Acquah, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Director of the Commission, who made the call on Monday, said the support would help increase the number of candidates from the two groups in subsequent elections.
He was addressing participants at a stakeholder’s engagement and consultations with identifiable women’s groups and PWDs held in Cape Coast with sponsorship from the European Union (EU).
He said there were many qualified members of the two groups who desired to contest but lack of encouragement and support, discrimination and derogatory comments made by some members of the society deterred them.
Mr. Acquah expressed worry that one of the only two PWDs who filed nomination to contest as assembly members in the metropolis had withdrawn and also about the fact that only two females were contesting the elections in the Metropolis.
Mr. Kobina Moses popularly known as ‘the Whole day’, a 32-year-old Cobbler who has a defect in his leg, was contesting in the Abura-Etsifi-Ayifua Electoral Area against four other candidates until he withdrew last week based on personal reasons.
It is now left with Mr. George Frimpong, 56-year-old visually impaired and the Central Regional Coordinator for Inclusive Education of the Ghana Education Service, who is contesting the Aboom-Master-Sam Electoral Area with three other candidates.
Mr. Richard Asenso, the Metropolitan Director of the Electoral Commission, indicated that so far, eight out of 135 Assembly member candidates who filed their nomination to contest in the Metropolis have withdrawn remaining 127.
He also stated that out of 45 electoral areas in the Metropolis it was at only 12 areas where elections would be organised for unit committee members since the rest had the five candidates required to form a unit committee and in some areas even less.
He stressed that the DLE elections was non-partisan and that while political parties who sponsor candidates would be fined when caught, such candidates would be disqualified when evidence was brought against them.
He stated that any group which was interested in helping with the DLE should make the funds available to the Commission so every candidate would benefit.
The Regional Director of NCCE, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed, also bemoaned the low participation in the DLE when it offered the chance for closer participation in Governance, saying ‘we are denying ourselves of an opportunity…it is about our own development’.
He said it was encouraging the two groups that NCCE has dedicated this year’s campaign to PWDs and women to contest in the DLE since majority of them have over the years showed little or no interest and called for support for the two groups.
Participants blamed the minimal interest of PWDs and women on lack of confidence, discrimination, and lack of financial support, among others and called on society to support them so they can contribute to nation building.
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