17.10.2004 Regional News

Peace building and political tolerance workshop in Kumasi

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Kumasi, Oct. 17, GNA - Mr Samuel Yorke-Aidoo, Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), has described this year's elections as very significant in the political history of the country, because of the introduction of photograph identification in the voters' register.

He noted that evidence had shown that Ghanaians were eager to ensure the success of the democratic process in the country. Mr Yorke-Aidoo was speaking on the topic: "The Values of the Electoral System" at a day's workshop on peace building and political tolerance organised by the Ashanti Region Network of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Kumasi on Saturday.

The workshop, attended by 54 participants including representatives of political parties, the media, Queen Mothers and parliamentary aspirants, was aimed at sensitising them on the need to tolerate each others views to ensure peace in the impending elections. He emphasised the need for the people to have confidence in the electoral process.

Mr Yorke-Aidoo assured them that the Commission would do its best to ensure the success of the exercise and asked for their support in the attainment of the objective.

Mr Kwadwo Owusu, chairman of the Ashanti Region Network of NGOs said the crises that characterised the 2000 elections prompted the Network of NGOs to organise the forum.

He said Ghanaians are people with a common destiny and urged them to preach about peace during the elections to help sustain the country's democracy.

Mrs Aba Oppong, Manager in-charge of Reproductive Health of the Centre for the Development the People (CEDEP) in Kumasi, who spoke on the topic: "The Role of Women in Politics", said women in the country are now awake and fully prepared to participate in the decision-making process.

She said, however that, the lack of funding has been a major problem facing women aspiring parliamentary candidates and appealed to the NGOs to support them with funds and other logistics to enable them go on with their electioneering campaigns.

Mr Alfred Kuma, director of Ibis Ghana, an NGO, disclosed that the Network of NGOs in the region has planned series of programmes for political parties, aspiring parliamentary candidates as well as the media to educate them on issues that would ensure good governance in the country.

Mr Kusi Aboraa, Ashanti Regional Director of NCCE, who chaired the function, urged the media to highlight on issues that would promote women aspirants.

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