CDD to work on 40 hot spots ahead of elections
From Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
A day’s training workshop, aimed at enhancing the capacity of participants with the requisite skills and knowledge to monitor, compile and file reports on all issues related to violence/ conflicts ahead of the crucial December 7 elections, has been organised in Kumasi.
The theme for the programme was “Ghana’s Election 2012: Promoting Peaceful, Credible and Issue-based Elections in Ghana’s 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary Polls.”
The participants were drawn from 40 constituencies across the country, which have been identified as conflicts zones and could likely experience some form of electoral mishaps, with six of them coming from the Ashanti Region.
Spearheaded by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) and its partners, including the Coalition for Domestic Electoral Observers (CODEO) with funding from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the participants are expected to critically monitor the selected constituencies and identify potential conflict triggers as early warning signals, so that appropriate intervention mechanisms could be put in place to quell it.
Amongst the conflict areas under the study, particularly in the Ashanti Region, include Bekwai, Kumawu, Ahafo Ano South, Offinso North, Asante Akim South and Amansie West constituencies.
Addressing participants at the workshop, the Programs Officer of CDD, Mr. Paul Nana Kwabena Aborampah, said the training workshop was a very special one, because it sought to prepare participants on one of the center’s major election projects, which also sought to pave way for fair and peaceful grounds for the smooth implementation of all other electoral activities.
He noted that the upcoming elections present an important assessment of Ghana’s democracy, especially, on our democratic institutions and their ability to function under different administrations, namely presidents, ruling parties, and the evolving election architecture in Ghana.
Mr. Aborampah observed that in spite of the fact that Ghana had received several accolades from both local and international partners for having gone through six successful elections under its democratic dispensation, there were several serious issues that ought to be addressed if the December 7 elections can pass the democratic test.
He made reference to surveys conducted by CODEO and other external election observers in 2008, which pointed to several mishaps that nearly marred the beauty of the previous elections, and, which, he said, must be dealt with as the 2012 elections draw near.
“In the 2008 post-elections review report by CODEO, the coalition identified that the elections process lacked focused and well planned voter education, and the few education programs that were rolled out were uncoordinated. Again, the report cited police inactions and seeming compliancy in dealing with electoral offenders, whilst lack of understanding of political issues and the electoral process, coupled with confused education programs, as some of the causes of the problems as witnessed during 2008 elections,” he said.
The Programs Officer of CDD, therefore, expressed gratitude to its donors, OSIWA and the Kofi Annan International Peace Training Center (KAIPTC), for providing technical support to the programme.
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=48213