Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has entreated Ghanaian Professionals to contest in the District Level Elections (DLEs) so as to enrich quality of district assemblies to accelerate development at the grassroots.
According to him, though the local government system is the foundation for the country’s democracy and development, it lacks the requisite human resources to effectively deliver to the citizenry.
“Next time, all of you, become candidates, for you’ll improve the quality of the assemblies,” the E.C boss told Journalists during a day’s capacity building workshop in Ho on Monday.
Partisan Participation in DLEs
He also alluded to suggestions that the local government elections should be made partisan, saying “eventually in the future, we have to open it up to partisan participation, because they (parties) are behind the scenes,” though the law currently barred parties from doing so.
Dr. Afari-Gyan however stressed that, opening up the district level elections to partisan participation should be with the hope that, it will end the dichotomy of the two major parties (NDC and NPP) so that the other minority parties ‘can pick up some strength at the countryside.’
“But if things goes the way they already are, that if you mention your name and you don’t add either NDC or NPP nobody can even recognise you, then my friend we are moving in the wrong direction,” he warned.
Touching on the upcoming District Level Election scheduled for March,3 2015, the E.C who also doubles as the commissioner responsible for the Volta and Ashanti regions, appealed to media houses to whip up public interest in the exercise through their reportage.
Mr. Wilhelm Gaitu, Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency, who was a facilitator at the programme, noted that ‘elections invoke emotions,’ hence the need for media practitioners to be circumspect in their election reportage.
He stated that media is ‘the marketplace for trading political choices at elections’ and advised practitioners especially radio presenters ensure decorum on the airwaves in order to sustain peace and tranquillity in the country.
Participants were also enlightened on meaning of the various electoral terminologies including, Election Monitor and Observer, Irregularities, Fraud and Rigging as well as Spoilt and rejected ballots.