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31.08.2004 Regional News

EC official asked govt to separate politics from state duties

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Kumasi, Aug 31, GNA- Mr Stephen Opoku-Mensah, Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, has asked government officials to separate politics from their official duties.

He expressed the need for public officials to guard against the politicisation of state- sponsored projects, especially during the inauguration of such projects.

Speaking on the topic: "Towards Incident Free Election, My Responsibilities, Your Duties", at a forum organised by the Ahinsan Crystal Youth Club, in Kumasi, Mr Opoku-Mensah said there was the need for tolerance among the various political parties.

He advised the youth not to allow self-seeking politicians to lure them to engage in political violence to mar Election 2004.

Mr Opoku-Mensah noted the important role the media played in the country's democratic dispensation and asked journalists to desist from carrying out "unscientific opinion polls" that gave the impression that one particular party was ahead of the others.

The forum, which brought together about 200 persons from youth clubs in the metropolis, was aimed at sensitising participants on their civic responsibilities in ensuring peaceful elections. Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, the Regional Minister, said politicians and the electorate were the key players in ensuring peaceful elections, hence the need for unity of purpose to consolidate the country's infant democracy.

Mr Nicholas Osei-Wusu, Chairman of the Ahinsan Crystal Youth Club, called on the participants not to use their various youth organisations as avenues to engage in acts of indiscipline.