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22.07.2004 General News

Govt urged to provide funds to EC for mopping

By GNA

Accra, July 22, GNA - Government was on Thursday urged to make funds available to the Electoral Commission (EC) for the mopping-up exercise to forestall accusations and counter accusations during and after the exercise.

About 70 contributors at a forum in Accra said EC's actions of omissions or commissions were likely to raise the political temperature in the country and that would be a threat to fledging democracy. They also called for political neutrality in voter education and that the Media must be seen and trusted as the watchdog of democratic governance with respect to the Constitution.

The forum organised by the Coastal Zone of Ghana Network for Participatory Development (gNETPAD), a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) was to solicit ideas from civil society to get more people to participate in the electoral process.

The gNETPAD is a network of NGOs working to promote good governance. The participants said there was the need for civil society organisations to identify strategies that could increase participation in Election 2004 and noted that there was the need to lobby Government to provide the needed fund on time.

Ms Mary Tobbin, Treasurer of the Network, moderated the forum, which noted that during the exercise facilities such as the Braille could be put in place for the physically challenged to register.

The forum urged civil society organisations to help get more women to participate in the electoral process, by helping to break the practices that served to alienate women from taking part in such activities.

"If women are well informed and empowered, they would be able to support themselves and communities at large to participate in the elections," a participant noted.

It should be possible to negotiate with family members of women when any of them with capabilities for governance were recognized. The forum advocated for the creation of a platform for civil society organisations and political parties to dialogue to ensure a-violence-free election.

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