09.09.2004 Politics

Joint EC, IEA body to investigate electoral complaints

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Accra, Sept. 9, GNA - The Electoral Commission in collaboration with all political parties and the Institute of Economic Affairs would form a body next week that would be in-charge of investigating complaints against political parties under their code of ethics. The body would ensure that political parties acted in accordance with the code, Mr Kwadwo Sarfo Kantanka, Deputy Chairman (Operations), said at a two-day workshop on political reporting for journalists in the electronic media in Accra.

He said the code was to give political parties an opportunity to address issues so as not to go beyond a point where they would have resort to the courts.

However, he said, "if people still persistently breach the law, they would be dealt with according to the law and regulations." Dr Bonnah Koomson, a lecturer at the School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, said there had been some qualitative improvements in media reports on elections since the 1992 and 1996 elections.

He said some of the excesses of 1992 and 1996 were not repeated in 2000 and "we were now awaiting a zero tolerance for bias in the reportage."

Dr Koomson said journalists had the right to belong to a political party but they should remain neutral and should not allow themselves to be influenced by the party in their reportage.

The workshop was organised by the National Media Commission, Ghana Journalists Association and Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FEF). It was the last in a series of workshops to be organised by FEF for about 250 journalists throughout the country this year.

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