IEA ORGANISES WORKSHOP ON POLITICAL PARTY CODE OF CONDUCT
From Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
PARTICIPANTS AT a day’s workshop organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) have unanimously stressed the need for all political parties in the country to apply in spirit and letter the provisions contained in the 2012 Political Party Code of Conduct, in order to ensure free, fair and violence free elections.
The participants want leaders of the various political parties to refrain from only paying lip services to ensuring incident-free elections, but to demonstrate by example that they are really committed to peace and freedom, ahead of the crucial 2012 elections.
There have been worries that though the leadership of the various political parties profess to work towards free elections, devoid of violence and chaos, they have failed to demonstrate by their deeds and refusal to call their members to order.
The workshop, therefore, formed part of the quest by the IEA to promote an issue-based and violence free election in Ghana, through educational programmes and awareness of the content and provisions of the 2012 Political Parties Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct, which has been endorsed by all parties competing in this year’s elections, sets out the guidelines by which all the political parties agree to be bound in the course of their campaigning and electioneering.
Participants were drawn from the representatives of the political parties, the media, the clergy, the traditional authority, academia, the security forces and other civil society organizations.
Addressing the participants at the workshop, the Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the IEA Enforcement body, Rev. Fr. Dr. Patrick Osei-Poku, said following the establishment of the Regional Enforcement Bodies, there was the need for the general public to be informed and educated about the various provisions in the Code, so that they can hold political parties in check when they go contrarily to them.
He said it was the view of the institute that by educating the general public and heightening their interest, they will be able to appreciate the need for peace and to refrain from actions that have the tendency to disturb the peaceful atmosphere the country is enjoying.
A Senior Fellow at the Institute, Rtd. Brigadier Gen. Agyemfra, bemoaned what he described as the deliberate refusal by the political parties to abide by the provisions which they willingly ascribed during its formation.
According to him, the behaviour of the leadership and supporters of the various political parties poses serious threats to Ghana’s democratic credentials, stressing that there was the need for all stakeholders to work towards ensuring that political parties and their leaders behave in a manner that will not disturb the peace in the country.
“All over the world, Ghana is widely acclaimed as a peaceful and democratic country, but one thing we should know is that we cannot be too swollen headed and think that all is well, there is the need for all of us to stand up and protect our democratic freedom,” he cautioned.
He asserted that events of 2008, where many atrocities were committed by supporters of the two major parties – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) must not be glossed over, but should serve as a reminder to each and every Ghanaian that the country is no different from our neighbours who had suffered electoral violence.
On her part, the Deputy Regional Coordinator of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mrs. Agnes Akumanyi, said the Enforcement Body would work assiduously to ensure that the political parties abide by the rules and regulations, stressing that the naming and shaming strategy will be applied to any political party that goes contrarily to the provisions.
She noted that majority of Ghanaians have chosen the path of peace and therefore any party that attempts to pursue any agenda that is not in line with the peace and stability of the country must be rejected.
Mr. George Aboagye (l), CEO of GIPC presenting an award to Mr. Roland Agambire, CEO of Rlg at the recent GC 100 awards night
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