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19.08.2004 Regional News

NCCE worried about alleged vote buying in primaries

By GNA

Konongo (Ash), Aug 19, GNA- The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has expressed grave concern about alleged vote buying that has characterised recent primaries of the various political parties in the country.

Mrs Augustina Akosua Akumanyi, Deputy Chairperson of the NCCE in-charge of Programmes, who expressed the sentiment, said it was very sad to hear that primaries to elect candidates to represent constituencies in parliament were "fraught with corruption". Mrs Akumanyi was speaking at a workshop on promoting democracy and good governance in Ghana. It was organised by the NCCE and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) for civil society groups, religious organisations, heads of departments, security agencies, and assembly members in the Asante-Akim North and south districts at Konongo on Thursday.

The workshop had the theme: "Fighting corruption -An Agenda For Democracy And Good Governance", and it aimed at equipping the participants with the requisite knowledge and skills to identify corrupt practices and find ways to combat it.

Mrs Akumanyi explained that the tendency to influence the electorates with money and other gifts for their votes, encouraged corruption since the elected candidate might find every necessary means to recoup the money when he is voted as member of Parliament. She noted that good governance meant fair share of national resources, adding that, until the nation was able to provide basic social services such as schools, potable water and good health there would be threat to democracy.

Mr George Frimpong, District Chief Executive for Asante-Akim North, said people could help to eliminate corruption by being bold to expose those who indulged in it. He urged the NCCE to intensify its campaign to educate the public on their civic rights and responsibilities to enable them to contribute to the development of the country.

Mr Daniel Batidam, Executive Secretary of GII, said vote buying was a threat to democracy and urged the electorate to avoid being influenced with money. Mr Emmanuel Aboagye Okyere, District Director of NCCE, urged the participants to take the workshop seriously and impart same to others.

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