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General News Wed, 2 Dec 2020

Comply with coronavirus protocols to avert confusion at the polls - NCCE

The Western Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr Justice Yaw Ennin has entreated eligible voters to comply with the COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols at all polling stations to avert violence and disturbances during the polls.

Mr Ennin who made the observation in an interview with the GNA in Takoradi to outline measures the NCCE had taken to ensure violence and incident-free polls in the Western Region said the non-compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols could be a source of violence at polling stations if care was not taken.

The Regional Director, hinted that in the past two months, the NCCE held a number of inter-party dialogue Committee meetings, attended by political parties, civil society Organizations, Faith-Based Organizations and persons with disability.

He said during such meetings, participants were educated on the need to observe all the Electoral processes, how to engage in Political campaigns devoid of insults, rancour, not to use intemperate language on airwaves as well as to desist from violent acts.

Mr Ennin said the Commission organized debates for parliamentary Candidates in all the 17 constituencies in the Western Region with Political parties like GUM, PNC and PPP participating, while the two big parties NPP and NDC were absent.

He, however, commended the incumbent MP for Takoradi, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, who doubles is also the Regional Minister for participating in the Debate.

He explained that the political party debate was an opportunity for the Parliamentary Candidates to outline their visions for their constituencies in the next four years and ascertain the concerns and needs of their Constituents.

He said the debates were sponsored by the European Union to promote issues-based campaigns devoid of insults, rancour, tension and violence.

Mr Ennin indicated many of the constituents mentioned education, employment and health as their priority needs and asked the candidates to address such needs if given the nod.

He said the Commission also embarked on voter education, placing emphasis on Electoral violence and other related offences and the Vigilantism ACT 999 and urged the electorate to avoid violent acts, noting that, " voting is about making choices and not violence".

Mr Ennin said, "if there is any confusion, disturbances and violent acts it is usually the vulnerable, women and children that suffer most and everything must be done to protect such people".

He reminded them of the existence of the Vigilantism ACT, stressing that whoever flouts the law could pay a fine of GHC 60,000 or imprisonment of five to 10 year or both.

The Regional Director, therefore, urged Politicians to campaign on issues and not to incite their supporters to engage in violence acts.

Mr Ennin was hopeful that with the numerous educational programmes rolled out by the Commission, this year's polls would be the most peaceful and incident-free in the Region.
Source: GNA
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