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26.10.2004 Regional News

Asantehene advises Council of State

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Kumasi, Oct 26, GNA - Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has suggested to the Council of State to consider extending its advisory role to cover Former Presidents and Ministers of State.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said since the advisory role of the Council was intended to help national leaders to adopt right conducts and policies for development, it would be appropriate for it to advise all Statesmen.

He gave the advice when a delegation of the Council led by Mr A.K. Deku, Acting Chairman, accompanied by Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, paid a courtesy call on him at his Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Tuesday as part of their three-day visit to the Region. Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the Council should strive at all cost to offer truthful and genuine counsel to the national leadership so as to enhance unity and progress.

The Asantehene said the search for peace and fair elections should be seen as the responsibility of all individuals and organisations and not the sole duty of any particular entity.

He said all political parties; traditional authorities and religious organisations, therefore, had a role to play and should get actively involved in educating the people about the importance of peace before, during and after the elections.

Mr Deku said the Council viewed Election 2004 as very unique since it was going to be a test case of the commitment of Ghanaians to peace and democracy.

He said: "Our President and for that matter Ghana has always championed the cause of peace and democracy in the Africa and, therefore, any mishap during the elections will have negative consequences on the other countries."

The visit marks the start of the Council's outreach programme, which is aimed at meeting and dialoguing with opinion leaders on how to ensure not only peace but also free and fair elections in December. As a core part of its programme within the three days, the Council of State would hold a series of meetings and dialogue with members of the National House of Chiefs on how to guarantee peace before, during and after the elections.

The Council Members had earlier paid a courtesy call on Mr Boafo at the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC).

Mr Boafo told the Delegation that the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) had put in place adequate security measures to contain any situation during the elections.

"With these in place, I am confident that this year's election in the Ashanti Region will be conducted in a free and fair atmosphere", he said.

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