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26.10.2004 General News

Political parties ballot for order of broadcasts

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Accra, Oct. 26, GNA - Political parties contesting the Presidential Elections scheduled for December 7 on Tuesday cast lots to determine the order of political broadcasts on both Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) Television and Radio to market their manifestoes.

At the end of a special balloting organized by the GBC; the People's National Convention (PNC) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) chose the first and third positions, respectively, - positions they chose last Friday when lots were cast to determine the positions of the parties on the ballot paper.

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Convention People's Party (CPP) swapped their positions on the ballot paper as the CPP picked the second position the NPP picked the fourth.

The balloting was observed by representatives from the National Media Commission, who also facilitated the process; Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana Centre for Democratic Development and a Pre-Election Observer team from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Secretariat, which is in the country.

The positions for the parliamentary broadcast are: PNC, CPP, NDC, NPP, National Reform Party (NRP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE) and Democratic People's Party (DPP).

Mr Henry W. Okyne, Director of Public Affairs of the Electoral Commission, who conducted the balloting, appealed to the various parties to use the platform offered by GBC to market their policies. "The purpose of the political broadcasting would be defeated if you use the platform to insult and attack should focus on your manifesto and what the party has in stock for the people if voted into power," Mr Okyne stated.

Mr Kawdwo Afari, Press Secretary of the NPP, led his Party's Delegation; the NDC team was under the leadership of Mr Bede Ziedeng, Deputy General Secretary. Mr Kwasi Pratt Junior led CPP while Mr David Nibi, National Vice Chairman, led the PNC team.

The parties commended GBC for creating an enabling environment for all candidates to reach out to the people through the medium of TV and radio.

Mr Afari said the party would utilize the opportunity to educate the population on the need to offer the NPP a second chance to give Ghanaians good governance and leadership.

Mr Ziedeng commended GBC for the opportunity but noted that the offer had come late. "But, the NDC would make the maximum use of the opportunity as it is ordained for a third time in Government."

Mr Pratt Junior described the Party's participation in the exercise as a first step toward changing the political history of the country. He said free and equal access to the media by all political parties, especially the State media, was a constitutional requirement to ensure that a level playing field was created for politicking. Mr Pratt called for equitable distribution of airtime and other opportunities to all parties.

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