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16.11.2004 Regional News

Focus on issues - NCCE urges Politicians and Journalists

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Accra, Nov. 16, GNA - The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Monday called on politicians, the media and party activists to focus on issues rather than personalities in the electioneering campaigns for Election 2004.

"Issue-centred politicking reduces the danger of character assassination, personality attack and creates the conducive environment for healthy campaigning," Mr Larry Bimi, NCCE Chairman, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, in Accra.

Mr Bimi said the national economy, health, education, agriculture, HIV/AIDS, provision of social amenities and infrastructure development were of paramount importance to Ghanaians than any selfish agenda. "Ghanaians are interested in methodologies for increasing food production, revitalising industries, linking research institutions to the end users and control of the economy by the people." The NCCE Chairman noted that politics based on issues would also create the right environment for tolerating divergent views as well as reducing tension and acrimony.

Mr Bimi cautioned politicians against making electoral promises they could not accomplish, saying: "Such promises have the potential of destroying public confidence in multi-party democracy."

Twelve years of democratic dispensation had exposed the electorate to the tenets of good governance, rule of law, political party manipulations and other mechanical and propaganda machinery purposely to solicit votes, he said.

The NCCE Chairman advised the electorate to reject politicians, who made promises without basis for achieving them and stressed that, "politicians must face the truth as deceptive politicking have no place in modern democracies".

Mr Bimi expressed concern about the growing despondency about politicians and multi-party democracy because of the failure of some politicians, which could affect voter-turn out during the elections. He said the Commission had initiated a survey to assess the expectations of the electorate, to ensure that the Presidential and Parliamentary candidates addressed issues that were paramount to the electorate.

The survey was also aimed at whipping-up the enthusiasm of the electorate in the general election, he said adding: "Currently the interest of voters, the electoral euphoria and charged atmosphere during the Elections 2000 is lacking, even though it is quite early," Mr Bimi stated. 16 Nov 04

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