30.03.2005 Politics

Quest for peace not for election times alone - NCCE Deputy Director

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Bolgatanga, March 30, GNA - Mr. Mike Fuoh, Upper East Deputy Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has urged the Regional Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) and other bodies involved in civic education not to concentrate on their activities only during the election year.

He said they should consistently persevere in their consensus building efforts, as peace was even more vital in the post-election period to enable the government of the day to carry out its development agenda.

"It is for this reason that the IPDC should see its role as an on-going one, to promote dialogue, compromise and understanding among the players in the local political arena," he said.

Mr. Fuoh was speaking at a review meeting of the Regional Inter-Party Dialogue Committee in Bolgatanga on Wednesday. It was organised by the NCCE with sponsorship from Action Aid Ghana. Emphasising that democracy thrives on a well-informed citizenry, the Deputy Director called on the leadership of political parties in the country to build the capacities of their members by educating them adequately on their respective constitutions and manifestos between now and the next general election.

Members of the IPDC noted with concern the blatant use of money, both during last December's polls and the recently held Council of State elections, to influence the outcome of the process. They called for measures to curb the practice, saying it was a recipe for institutionalised corruption and an affront to democratic principles.

Also deliberated at length was the open involvement of chiefs in partisan politics, in contravention of the Constitutional provisions debarring them from doing so.

Members called on politicians to refrain from compelling traditional rulers to declare support openly for their parties. In a welcoming address, the Bolgatanga Municipal Director of the NCCE, Mr. Emmanuel Abesoke, indicated that as key players in the country's political system, it was imperative for political parties to understand and work within the confines of the 1992 Constitution, the electoral laws and other relevant regulations. He further stated that in order for society to survive and make meaningful progress, there was the need for people with divergent views to dialogue and make compromises whenever necessary, in their search for better ways of achieving set objectives.

The Chairman of the IPDC, Mr. Muhammed Nurudeen Issahaq, who presided over the function, urged Ghanaians to stay united in the interest of stability and progress. "We may have different opinions and different political leanings but we are essentially one people," he said.

Mr. Issahaq also pointed out that with last year's general election now over, what was left was for Ghanaians to co-operate with the ruling government in its efforts to reduce poverty and improve the lives of the people.

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