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04.11.2008 Religion

Jehovah's Witnesses Do Vote In Ghana

By Francis Asamoah-Tufuor - newtimesonline.com

IT is not true that members of the Jehovah's Witnesses do not vote. 

They do, Nathaniel Gbedemah, of  the Public Affairs Department at the group's headquarters in Accra.

Voting is an individual affair says and  that the movement has never  prevented  any of its members from exercising his or her franchise.

He was speaking to the  'Times' yesterday on the issue of whether members of the organization would  vote in the December 7 election and all other political processes.

He said the society had about 200,000 members nationwide and “we do not decide for our members either to vote or not.”

The interview was prompted by statements made by the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) which, at a press conference in Accra, appealed to the Jehovah Witness Movement to allow its members to vote in the December 7 election.

The programme coordinator of the WILDAF, Mrs Bernice Sam, said it was the civic responsibility of every Ghanaian to  exercise his or her franchise and appealed to the hierarchy of the Jehovah Witness Movement to allow its members to cast their ballot.

“Even though we belong to different religious organization, we must as well know that it is our responsibility to  exercise lour civic responsibility which is obligatory as citizens of the state”.

The  news conference dubbed: 'We Know Politics', was to brief the press on the organisation's preparations to dialogue with the presidential aspirants of the various political parties on their  plans for women and children in the country.

The engagement, which is slated for Thursday November 6  at 3 p.m. at the National Theatre.

Mrs Sam  said the December 7 election was barely a month away and we are all expecting to have peaceful and meaningful elections to consolidate our democracy.

She expressed the disappointment of women at the failure of three key political parties — the  Convention People's Party, the National Democratic Congress, the New Patriotic  Party – to choose women as presidential running mates.

She argued that given that women constituted  51 per cent of population, it was crucial that the political parties meet with women's bodies to deliberate on women's issues.

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