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18.03.2016 Politics

CSOs must act to help establish election credibility - Kwesi Jonah

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Kumasi, March 18, GNA - Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been admonished to be bold to divulge their independent investigative findings on the general conduct of a given elections in the country, to help establish its credibility or otherwise.

Mr. Kwesi Jonah, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Democratic Government (IDEG), said CSOs have since 2008 been in the business of monitoring Ghana's electoral process from start to finish through donor funding and had every valid evidence of an electoral process from start to finish.

'Their evidence could also be authenticated by the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT), another independent ballot tabulation arrangement which is always done by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO).

'But they are often 'tight-lipped' for fear of incurring the wrath of the ones the information would not be in favour of' adding that this puts the credibility of the elections on the line.

Mr. Jonah who is also a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, was presenting a paper on 'Towards Free, Fair and Undisputed Elections - the role of Civil Society Organisations and political parties, at a day's media convention organized by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), in Kumasi

It is the second in three series funded by the Us Embassy and brought together more than 50 journalists from the Ashanti Region.

'Media for an undisputed and Peaceful 2016 Elections', was the theme and the goal was to create a platform for the journalists to share their experiences in the 2012 Elections and identify some of the practices that disturbed their operations among other things.

Turning to political parties he said all had a duty to pool together to protect the peace in the country whiles making the elections a huge success by adhering strictly to the legal framework proffered for the elections.

'How free or fair an election was did not depend on who won or lost, but a strict observance to the governing rules and regulations', he added.

Dr Roland Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said this year's election is very crucial and journalists should therefore not have the luxury to 'tinker with the truth'.

He advised the media to always uphold factual accuracy, be balanced and fair in their reportage whiles educating the people to make informed choices.

The first in the series of the convention was held in Takoradi and the third would be held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.


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