Drusilla Larti, acting head of the Sub-trade Department of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in South Blekuma, encouraged representatives of political parties to educate their members on electoral law violations.
A person convicted of an electoral offence may be fined up to 500 euros or imprisoned for up to two years.
Larty said during the opening ceremony of the Interparty Dialogue Committee (ICDP) for the Ablekuma South constituency in Accra that certain crimes can prevent a person from voting in subsequent elections or from holding public office.
The mandate of the IPDC is to serve as a unifying body for peace promotion and conflict resolution before, during and after the 2020 general elections in order to consolidate political, economic and social progress and stability.
she says: A key indicator of democracy and good governance in industrialised countries is confidence and peace, but elections in most developing countries, particularly in Africa, have not been the best because they have led to untold problems.
Although violence is part of Ghanaian politics, the country has made impressive progress in holding elections.
Mrs Lartey said that the country had managed to avoid the violence that had occurred during the elections in other countries and that it had continued to ensure stable democratic governance.
According to them, Ghana is internationally recognised as one of the beacons of democratic governance, not only in West Africa but also on the African continent.
The acting head said that Ghana’s report had led to the need to deepen and strengthen these democratic principles.
The IPDC, she said, will serve as a buffer zone in the constituencies to stop an unnecessary wave of mistrust and fear among political parties, especially as the activities of vigilant supporters of political parties have gained ground and threaten to undermine Ghana’s enviable record of holding peaceful elections.
In its view, the IPDC will ensure compliance with electoral rules and regulations, promote peace, identify problems which may lead to conflicts during the elections and promote the exchange of information in order to prevent the spread of rumours.
In addition, it will work with the National Peace Council and all key actors in the peace-building process and assist in monitoring and reporting violations of electoral rules and regulations and public order.
Major violations to be monitored include the distribution of money and gifts to voters, the disclosure of election results by political parties and their members, electoral fraud, the use of provocative and offensive language by political parties and abuse of power.
The IPDC consists of representatives of all registered political parties, security services, Christian and Muslim leaders, traditional leaders, the SCCR, the media, the district assembly, independent governmental institutions and civil society organisations.
Reverend Rebecca F. A. Abdaye, president of the IPDC, advised the committee members to work for peace and urged them to build a bridge to living together.
We are family, even if we belong to different political parties, we have to be united in order to maintain our relations after the elections.
Let’s leave a good legacy of non-violent education to the youth of our time, she added.
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