25.10.2004 Politics

Election Officials should not accept instructions from party agents

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Ho, Oct. 25, GNA - Election Officials have been advised not to accept instructions or interference from political party executives or any prominent persons, who might visit the polling centres during the December elections.

They are to follow instructions given by the Electoral Commission (EC) alone.

Mr James Arthur-Yeboah, Deputy Volta Regional Director of EC, gave the advise at a day's training of trainers' workshop organised by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) in conjunction with the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) for 48 participants drawn from the 23 constituencies in the Volta Region on Saturday. He said election observation was a privilege extended to the local or foreign participant in the electoral process adding that candidates' agents were also observers.

Mr Arthur-Yeboah, however, reminded observers that they had no right to give instructions or interfere with the process. "At best the observer may assume the role of a mediator to help keep the process on track."

He said election was teamwork and, therefore, called on voters, election officials, party activist and the media to play their respective roles to ensure that the polls were successful.

Mr Arthur-Yeboah called on stakeholders to ensure peace and fairness and to encourage friends and relatives to vote during the elections.

The participants would train other observers in their various constituencies.

Mr John Larbie, Election Project Manager, said CODEO intended to train 7,000 observers for Election 2004.

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