Assembly elections: NCCE cautions against voting on party lines

8123116312703_6649311958553Ghanaians have been urged to ignore aspiring assembly members who try to buy their votes and campaigning on party lines.

The National Commission on Civil Education (NCCE) says the District Level Elections is strictly non-partisan and must be treated as such.

Madam Josephine Nkrumah, Deputy Director in charge of Administration at the commission who gave the caution noted with concern that secret political party interference has characterized the campaign processes of the assembly elections in the country.

She was addressing aspiring assembly members and the general public in the Cape Coast North Constituency at a District Level Election Forum in Cape Coast on Saturday.

The forum, which was organized by the NCCE, in partnership with the Electoral Commission (EC), was to educate the public and promote citizen participation in the upcoming DLE slated for September 1, considering the low participation it has received in the past..

She said the DLE was one of the key means to deepening the democratic process in the country and urged all Ghanaians to acknowledge it with all seriousness just like in the parliamentary and presidential elections.

Mrs. Nkrumah urged the electorates to see the decentralization process as an opportunity to contribute to the development of their communities, adding that, they also hold the assembly members accountable.

She advised women to take up leadership positions, starting from their communities and to the national level.

Mr. Anthony Nyame, Deputy Central Regional Director of the Electoral Commission said all was set for the DLE on Tuesday, September 1, but stressed that voters who could not be verified by the verification machine would not be allowed to vote.

He said the EC had deployed two verification machines to each center with backups to ensure that the elections did not travel into the following day, indicating the commission’s readiness to ensure that the elections were free and fair.

Some aspiring candidates, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency, expressed worry about the minimal involvement of election stakeholders, including the NCCE and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), who were supposed to actively whip up citizen interest in the elections.

They therefore called on the NCCE, CSOs and the media to actively get involved to whip up citizens interest.

In all, 1,693 candidates are contesting for the assembly member positions in the elections in the Central Region, out of which 85 are women, whilst 4,223 are contesting for the unit committee slots.