'Party agents play a pivotal role in Elections' Bortey
5/21/2012 5:30:45 PM -
Koforidua, May 21, GNA- Mr Eric Bortey, Eastern Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has stated that party agents play a pivotal role in elections and that any attempt to eliminate them would be highly suicidal for Ghanaian politics.
He said polling or party agents enhanced transparency at the polling centres during registration exercises and voting itself and that nothing should be done to underrate their importance in the country's political process.
Mr Bortey, who was speaking at a Media Forum to mark World Press Freedom Day in Koforidua, said it was therefore unfortunate that a political heavyweight like Dr Paapa Kwesi Nduom, should be calling for the abolishing of party agents.
He indicated that the case where party agents caused problems in polling stations were because the political parties that recruited them failed to give them accurate training and so the focus must be on how they would be trained to be able to play the expected role.
Mr Bortey reiterated that party agents complemented the roles of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the NCCE and needed a proper training in the code and conduct of elections as well as that of the Inter- Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) to know what to do and how to handle conflicts at the centres.
The Eastern Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), organized a Media Forum on the global theme 'Media freedom has the Power to Transform Society' and a symposium on Climate Change adaptation.
It was sponsored by the Media Capacity Building Centre of the African Adaptation Programme (AAP) on Climate Change.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Victor Smith, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Ghanaian media was generally acknowledged as one of the freest on the African continent.
This, he said, underscored the protection offered to the media by the Constitution.
Mr Smith noted, however, that the performance of the media and how it was using that power and freedom entrusted to it remained a critical question to many public spirited persons.
He urged the media to appreciate that freedom goes with a responsibility and obligation that cannot be overlooked.
Mr Edmund Quaynor, the Regional Chairman of the GJA, urged journalists to shift from reported speeches to reports on developmental issues that remained a challenge to a large section of the populace, especially in the rural areas.
He said this would truly give the reflection of the country to politicians and also help to shape the debate for issues-based campaigns.
He expressed the hope that the celebration of the Press Freedom Day would galvanize the media into action.
As part of the Symposium, members of the GJA in the region were educated on climate change effects on the environment and how the media could help to create awareness for adaptation in Ghana and beyond.