Inter-Party Dialogue Committee inaugurated in Brong-Ahafo Region
A 20-member Brong-Ahafo Regional Inter-Party Dialogue Committee was on Wednesday inaugurated in Sunyani with a call on followers of political parties to comply with electoral laws to ensure peaceful elections.
The committee is made up of representatives of political parties, Electoral Commission, Ghana Journalists Association, the Police, Bureau of National Investigations and the Regional Coordinating Council.
Other members are from the Catholic Secretariat, Christian Council, Office of the chief Imam, Regional Peace Council and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
Mr Issah Nasigre, Regional Director of the NCCE, who made the call, said since Ghana had become the bastion of democracy in Africa, results in the upcoming general election would determine whether the country had really understood the principles of multi-party democracy.
He observed that since the 1992 referendum in Ghana to embrace multi party democracy, previous elections had been associated with a number of electoral challenges and Ghanaians must help find lasting solutions to such problems to consolidate Ghana’s fledgling democracy.
Mr Nasigre said as a democratic state, all citizens of voting age had the right to join a political party of his or her choice, an indication that political party opponents were not enemies.
“The eligible voter has the right and liberty to participate in the shaping of the political agenda and influence policies”, he said, but cautioned “this liberty does not warrant followers of political parties to trade insults at each other, especially on the airwaves”.
Mr Nasigre entreated all Ghanaians to support the EC to compile a credible register during the new biometric voters registration exercise, due to start on March 24, this year, for a fair and transparent election in December.
In a speech read for him, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Regional Minister, said peace and security were pre-requisites for development and urged Ghanaians to collectively fight to stem unwarranted and destructive disputes in communities in order to sustain the prevailing peace.
He emphasized that political parties played a crucial role in the democratization process, especially in elections and implored leaders of political parties to strive to build smooth and cooperative inter-party relationships that allowed for political tolerance of their divergent opinions and views.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo called on all stakeholders to ensure that all Ghanaians of 18 years and above with sound mind to register during the 14-day biometric registration exercise.
The Regional Minister expressed the hope that the committee would engage in open and frank deliberations, consensus building on all electoral matters, devoid of heckling and other intimidating tactics.
This, the Regional Minister, observed would go a long way to ensure that all agitations and confrontations pertaining to the elections could be ameliorated to the barest minimum before, during and after the December polls.**