Mr. Nicolas Ofori Boateng, the Central Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has urged political parties to join in educating the public on electoral rules and regulations. He said majority of political party activists, especially the youth, were not conversant with the rules governing elections and also the Political Parties Code of Conduct, so they tended to conduct themselves “irresponsibly”, especially on the airwaves.
It was, therefore, incumbent on the parties, he said, to educate their followers during rallies and meetings for them to be abreast with the rules and regulations and strictly adhere to them. Mr Ofori Boateng was speaking at a workshop, organised by the NCCE in Cape Coast, for party youth activists on the Code of Conduct for Political Parties.
He said the Code of Conduct was a laudable regulation, which when followed strictly, would guarantee absolute peace in the upcoming elections.
The workshop, sponsored by the European Union (EU) is part of effort at ensuring a violent free, transparent and a peaceful political environment before, during and after the December 7 General Election.
Under the theme, “Empowering the youth to stand for Ghana for a Peaceful Election 2016”, the workshop also sought to engage the activists to promote tolerance and non-violence attitudes and to participate effectively and ethically in the electoral processes.
The participants were also educated on the “Public Order Act and Election 2016: prospect and challenges,” and given an “Overview of Election Regulations, Electoral offences and Sanctions”.
Mr Ofori Boateng said political parties must not only concentrate on strategies and campaigns to win elections but also take up the responsibility to educate their followers during their campaign rallies and meetings to facilitate peace.
Mr Ofori Boateng also entreated the parties to use non-offensive billboards, banners, fliers, placards, slogans and songs and conduct their campaigns devoid of abusive languages.
He condemned the situation where leading party executives constantly sought the release of their members who were found culpable of electoral offences, saying such behaviours only encouraged them to engage more in violence.
A section in the 2012 Political Code of Conduct states that, “No party executive or leading member should go and seek the release of any party follower who goes against the rules and regulations of the elections, which the parties have signed to, uphold,” he reiterated.
Mr Ofori Boateng advised the parties to seek clarification from the appropriate quarters on issues that challenged their minds rather than speculating. Mr Anthony Nyame, a Deputy Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, (EC) advised the electorate to adhere to electoral rules and regulations.