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23.10.2004 General News

CDD/CODEO to train 7,500 election observers

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Cape Coast, Oct 23, GNA - The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) would train 75,000 domestic observers for the December 2004 general elections, Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai of the CDD-Ghana/CODEO, has said.

He said the domestic observers would be equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to contribute towards the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections.

Alhaji Abdulai announced these at a training of trainers' workshop for 45 participants from the Central region, at Cape Coast on Saturday, sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Fredrich Naumann Foundation.

He said CDD-Ghana/CODEO, made up of 34 organisations, including the Trades Union Congress (TUC), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), was equipped to observe the elections better because its observers were local people who knew the terrain and Ghanaian culture.

Among the other organisations forming CDD-Ghana/CODEO are NGOs, the Christian Council of Ghana and the Federation of Muslim Councils. "As observers, your duty is not to monitor the elections but to call the attention of the presiding officer or the polling assistant to any polling malpractice you might detect and record it", he told the participants.

Alhaji Abdulai advised them to be politically neutral, stressing that they must not involve themselves in any political discussions at the polling centres, on the day of the elections.

Mr Kweku Dickson, a CDD-Ghana/CODEO trainer, urged them to take the workshop serious, since it would equip them with the knowledge to come out with a post-election verdict that could not be disputed. He advised those affiliated with any political party to voluntarily opt out of the training because CDD-Ghana/CODEO would not entertain them.

Alhaji Issah Dimbie of the CDD-Ghana/CODEO said the Electoral Commission had devised a means for the blind to easily vote for candidates of their choice without assistance.

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