General Secretaries on the Institute of Economic Affairs Ghana Political Parties Programme (IEA-GPPP) has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to be proactive and act with urgency in view of the closeness of the 2016 elections.
They tasked the EC to publish a clear timetable of activities of the 2016 elections, which should include plans for implementation of the recommendations submitted by the Electoral Reform Committee.
The platform for General Secretaries, comprising the National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party, the People’s National Convention and the Convention People’s Party made the recommendations to the EC in a communiqué issued in Accra, after a meeting at the IEA.
Members of the Platform also urged political parties and other stakeholders to work closely with the EC to ensure that Ghana has an acceptable voters register ahead of the 2016 elections, especially when there is wide consensus that the register contains illegal entries.
“Another key issue of concern regarding the work of the EC was the purported management of its database by STL Company, and we call on the EC to publicly clarify the nature of its relationship with STL, and clearly spell out the role it will play in Ghana’s 2016 elections,” it said.
The Platform also called on politicians to eschew pronouncements which tend to undermine the peace and cohesion of the country and as a way of getting the EC to meet their demands regarding the Voters Register.
It expressed concern about the over politicisation of Ghana’s security agencies, saying that the agencies must be professional and neutral in the discharge of their duties, particularly in dealing with electoral issues.
“Members of the Platform recommended that the educational and professional training curricula of the military, police and other security agencies should be enhanced with modules on managing election-related security issues, and this is necessary in order to bring the professional conduct of Ghana’s security agencies at par with international best practice standards.”
The Platform strongly condemned election-related criminal offences, and called for investigation and prosecution of all such offences including multiple registrations, impersonation and past allegations of unlawful conduct of presiding officers to undermine the integrity of the poll.
It also condemned the practice of clash politics, where some media outlets pitch one political commentator against another, which incite harsh exchanges and engender ill feeling among politicians.
The Platform called on all politicians to put Ghana’s interest above all else, and resist being used as agents of clash politics by the media.
“The media must act with circumspection and be guided by principles of truth and a consideration of the broader national interest.”
As part of their commitment to deepening democracy in Ghana, leaders of political parties under the IEA-GPPP meet on a monthly basis to deliberate on pertinent national issues in a non-partisan way to reach consensus and find solutions.