The municipal council of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCEC) in Asheiman established and opened its Interparty Dialogue Committee (ICD) for the 2020 elections to promote peace and credibility of the elections.
In order to deepen and consolidate Ghana’s success in enforcing the 1992 Constitution and the peaceful organisation of seven consecutive elections, the NCICA initiated the establishment of a buffer zone in all constituencies in order to reverse the tide of unnecessary distrust and fear among political parties, particularly in relation to their activities.
The Committee, which should work with other peace-building actors, should also develop effective strategies for holding free, fair and peaceful elections in 2020.
The members of Asheiman’s IPDC, chaired by Nii Annang Ajor, the Regent of Asheiman, include representatives of political parties, the election commission, religious groups, youth groups, women’s groups, people with disabilities, the municipal security task force, the SNCR and the media.
As part of its mandate, the Commission will monitor serious violations, including the distribution of funds and other donations to voters, the publication of election results by political parties and their members, the deterioration of posters, biased media coverage, violence during election campaigns, the use of provocative and offensive language by political parties and their members, electoral fraud and abuse of power.
Ms Gifti Afeywaa Badu, director of NCCR Asheiman, said that the IPDC is one of the Commission’s key programmes that will enable stakeholders to take measures to reduce political tensions and encourage citizens to respect different opinions in interaction with political parties.
Mrs Badu added that political tolerance is the key to the success of democracy because it guarantees national unity, stability and development. Furthermore, Article 35(9) of the 1992 Constitution recognises the importance of political tolerance in our democracy, which obliges the State to promote a culture of political tolerance among the people of Ghana.
Albert Boacier Okiere, leader of the Asheiman community, said at the opening of the committee that Asheiman has been identified as one of the hotspots of the 2020 elections and that therefore all parties must change the discourse and misconception about the region.
Mr Okiir called for unity between the parties concerned, in particular between the two political parties, and stressed that in all their actions they should give priority to Ghana and Ahsheiman, as this is the only place they can call home.
Nii Ajor warned the political parties not to create unrest among young people and harm them in their efforts to protect the interests of their communities, and said that we all know that it is the parties that are throwing their young people into chaos.
He called on the traditional leaders of the town council not to interfere in the affairs of those imprisoned for electoral fraud and participation in violent activities to deter others.
Superintendent Samuel Amissa, head of the Ahsheiman police department, assured that the ICAC had taken all necessary security measures to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections in Ahsheiman.
Chief Asheiman said that Asheiman is the second largest constituency in Ghana with 167,000 voters, indicating that a trend of violence is possible, but that all parties must set a quota to prevent it.
Talk to young people, never accept money from politicians to make trouble or get a ballot box, let them know that the ballot box is from the state and not from a political party, he added.
The representatives of the political parties expressed their determination not to resort to violence and electoral fraud because they agreed that they were bound by marriage and friendship.
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