School: Ghanaians should hold elections on first Thursday of November
Accra, Jan. 9, GNA - Participants at the 61st Annual New Year School have recommended a change of the country's election date from December 7, to the first Thursday of November of every election year, to ensure smooth transfer of power.
The participants were unanimous in their views that the current date as established under the 1992 Constitution put undue pressure on the transition period of power transfer from one political entity to the other.
This was made known on Friday, in a communiqué read by the Mr Nat Anibra, an Assistant Director of the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education (ICDE, in Accra.
The communiqué said government agencies should be tasked to capture demographic census data with an interface data system that would enable the Electoral Commission to accurately produce a new and credible voter register.
"As a matter of urgency, government should resource the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to intensify the education of the public on the fundamental human rights and freedoms as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution.
"This education should be multi-sectoral involving the National Commission on Civic Education, Civil Society Organisations and the media," it said.
The communiqué appealed to political parties to embark on campaigns devoid of insults, violence and falsehood.
It recommended an educational system with a curriculum that includes education on marriage, family life and societal values at the basic and secondary school level.
"The National Health Insurance Scheme should be extended to cover all the common diseases in Ghana," the communiqué said.
It called for the training and retraining of law enforcement agencies on new approaches of upholding and enforcing human rights of Ghanaians at all levels of the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies in the discharge of their duties.
"Women should be trained to withstand practical challenges such as criticism and intimidations," it said.
The communiqué called for adequate resourcing for the National Youth Council in order for the council to implement its policies and programmes.
"Government should expedite action on the formulation of a national youth policy to enhance the capacity of the youth for national development," it said.
Prof Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, Director of ICDE urged the participants to form monitoring teams to follow up on recommendations made at the forum for implementation.
He launched the institute's portal and said that it would provide links to reading materials and variety of academic and non-academic programmes to the public.
The institute's website address is www.ug.edu.gh/icde.
The theme for this year's Annual School is: "Sustaining Democratic Governance in Ghana: Issues before the Nation."
For more than 60 years, the school has provided the platform for a cross-section of people to discuss issues of both national and international concern.