The Tano South District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education has held an inter party dialogue committee meeting at Bechem to educate party representatives and other stakeholders on the role of the Electoral Commission and the experience Ghanaians have gained from the 2012 election petition case which was sent to the supreme court.
Topics that were treated at the forum included, the representation of the people, the right to vote, how to prevent election fraud and duties of both the electoral commission and the political parties and present at the function were Mr. Issah Nasagri, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of NCCE, Nana Okumasono Osei Tutu, the Nkabomhene of the Bechem Traditional Area who chaired the function, Miss Georgina Agyeiwaa, the Acting District Director of NCCE, Heads of Departments, representatives of political parties and other stakeholders.
In a presentation, Mr. Issah Nasagri said, since 1992 Ghana’s electoral system has undergone various transformations and as a result Ghana’s voting system is now Biometric whereby a Bio Metric verifying system is used during polls.
Mr. Nasagri said, the constitution of Ghana mandated all Ghanaians who are eligible to vote are to cast their vote to elect a president and it is mandatory that, the elected president is responsible to provide equal opportunities to the citizenry of Ghana irrespective of their political affiliation, ethnicity and religion. He urged voters in the 2016 elections to vote for the candidate of their choice whom they think could lead the Nation into prosperity.
Mr. Nasagri, on the right to vote said, a voter must be a Ghanaian of eighteen years and above and of a sound mind and registered as a voter.
He said the duties of the political parties as mandated by the constitution of Ghana requires the freedom of Association and it behoves on every Ghanaian to join any political party of his or her choice and the party is also required to introduce its ideology or manifesto to the electorates and it is upon the dissemination of its ideologies and manifesto to the people that the party is able to attract followers. He advised that differences in political ideologies should not create enmity amongst the people and entreated political party leaders to see to it that they do not push minors and non – Ghanaians to register as voters so as to vote for their party.
Mr. Nasagri said, it is the duty of the electoral commission to create electoral boundaries for both National and Local Government elections, conduct and supervise all public elections, educate people on the electoral processes and its purposes and to perform other functions as may be prescribed by law. He said, the electoral commission must be transparent and cooperate with the civil society organizations to initiate effective mechanisms and strategic plans which can curb electoral fraud and hinted that when a particular party is allowed to cheat in elections it hampers the progresses of the country.
Nana Okumasono Osei Tutu in his closing remark urged participants to go home and preach the facilitator’s gospel to those who could not make it to the function and said when people are abreast with the trend of affairs especially the electoral processes and systems they will not be manipulated by politicians to embark on electoral fraud since ‘’ lack of knowledge makes people perish’’ and appealed to the electoral commission of Ghana to do all it can to make peace prevail before, during and after the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.