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Thursday, February 29, 2024

District Level Elections: Stay away, allow candidates campaign on their own merits – EC to political parties


The Electoral Commission (EC) is urging the various political parties to allow aspirants in the upcoming district-level elections (DLE) to campaign on their own merits.

According to Article 248, clause two of the Constitution, political parties cannot endorse, sponsor or offer a platform or in any way campaign for or against a candidate seeking election to a district assembly or any other local government unit.

Speaking on JoyNews, the Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, said “It is a very important election because it is about grassroots democracy.”

He stressed that “The law does not allow political parties to sponsor or campaign for the candidates so I will say that they should stay away and allow the candidates to campaign on their own merits. They should not be hiding behind any candidate.”

Meanwhile, there have been concerns of low voter turnout on December 19.

Some voters who spoke to JoyNews explained that they have lost interest in the district-level elections simply because years of voting have not improved conditions in their communities.

Touching on this, Dr Serebour Quaicoe appealed to Ghanaians “to go out and vote for their preferred candidates.”

He also added that the EC is done with the national training ahead of the exercise.

Background

Section six of the Local Governance Act 2016 (Act 936), as amended by Act 940, provides that the DLEs are held every four years and take place a year before the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

Since 1988, Ghana has had eight successive local-level elections to engender greater citizen participation in the process.

The Electoral Commission (EC) subsequently opened nominations for the district-level elections in November this year.

Interested candidates are required to pick up nomination forms from the district offices of the Electoral Commission.

The election will take place in 6,272 electoral areas and 38,622 polling stations nationwide in 259 districts out of a total of 261.

There would be no elections in Nkoranza North and South in the Bono East regions because the polls were held in the two districts in April 2020 and the next one would be conducted for both districts in 2025.

Per the programme of activities released by the EC for the 2023 DLEs, the commission would receive nominations from aspirants from November 16 to 17 while the notice of poll for the elections would be posted from November 29 to December 4, 2023.

A platform for the aspirants in the elections would be mounted from December 1 to 14, 2023, to sell their messages to the electorate, with the election taking place on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.

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