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16.10.2007 General News

Evolve Strategies To Ensure Tolerance Free And Fair Election Next Year

Mr. Kofi Adams, National Deputy Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called for the evolvement of effective electoral and political processes and systems that lay more emphasis on tolerance, fair and free election as the nation prepares for the 2008 general election.
He also expressed the hope that all stakeholders played their roles as expected of them so that the process leading to the election would offer Ghanaians the opportunity to effect the change needed in a free political atmosphere.
Mr Adams was presenting a paper on, 'Averting conditions militating against a free Political atmosphere' at the Ashanti Region launch of the Inter-Party Youth (IPYC) Committee in Kumasi.
The launch which was attended by representatives from the various political parties in the country was organised by IPYC and sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and it was to address pertinent issues that could hamper the political process and systems of the country.
The Deputy National Youth Organiser noted that elections all over the world were meant to be a tool for better change, affecting peoples' socio-economic development and to achieve these, a free political atmosphere was needed to enable such choices to be made.
He identified conditions that threaten or make political atmosphere not to be free to include laying strong emphasise on money politics, poverty and lack of employment, politics of insult and vilification, a gullible populace and a highly partisan media as well as electoral fraud and malpractices and passage of bad and unpopular electoral laws.
He said for the youth to play their role to avert political instability, they must stop promoting ethno-centrism, play politics according to the rules, engage in political debates based on issues and respect divergent views, should not see politics as 'do and die affair', and disband such illegal groups used for violence, such as action troopers.
Mr Adams indicated that to enable the ruling Government to arrive at creating a free political atmosphere, there was the need for it to instill confidence into the people by implementing people centred projects and be accountable and transparent to the letter.
He said there was also the need for the ruling Government to avoid 'sit-tight' leadership syndrome, interference in the work of the judiciary and the security services and their use as intimidating tools against perceived opponents must ceased.
Mr Adams called on Civil Society groups, religious organisations to play their roles by speaking out on national and political issues, devoid of partisanship.  'They must come together and challenge the Government of the day, enlighten the populace on their civic rights, roles and responsibilities as well as those of the Government.'