By Comfort Sena Fetrie, GNA
Tamale, Aug 31, GNA - Mr Caesar Abagali, Northern Regional Chairman of Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has advised politicians to stop the media war and join the Electoral Commission (EC) to embark on voter education.
This, he said would reduce the problem of rejected ballot, which would be in their own interests.
He explained that the rejected ballots recorded in the 2012 elections were more than the votes that some political parties garnered, which should be a worry to all.
“If those rejected votes were valid votes cast in favour of any of the leading political parties, a different story might have been told,” he said.
Mr Abagali gave the advice on Tuesday during a two-day capacity building for staff of the EC and National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) in Tamale.
The training, which was organized by the EC with support from the USAID, was to enlighten the staff on the Commission’s communication strategy, electoral processes, procedures, and decision making, to work towards building more public trust and confidence in the EC.
Mr Abagali who is also the Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency said: “The continuous high recorded numbers of rejected ballot during elections is a serious matter that needs the commitment of not only staff of the EC and the NCCE to help address but also the commitment of politicians who are the main beneficiaries to help in the voter education as means of addressing the problem.”
He explained that if politicians stop battling and insulting one another in the media, creating unnecessary enemies and tension but strategise and educate the electorate on how to vote to reduce rejected ballot, they would win more votes than the media war.
He urged the Commission to provide their staff with the needed information, which would help carry out their duties efficiently and effectively throughout the preparation towards this year’s election.
He said it is essential for the EC and NCCE to educate the voters especially those in the rural areas about the incoming election for them to organise themselves adequately towards it.
Mr Abagali took participants through aspects of the EC’s Communication Strategy and advised the Commission’s staff to adhere to laid down rules and regulations spelled out in the strategy to improve levels of trust.
Mr Bruce Ayisi, Regional Director of the EC advised the participants to build trust, respect and also dignity to their clients to make sure the commission accomplishes credible, free and fair elections.
He assured the public that the EC would be a Benchmark in Africa for enabling independent, trusted, world class and democratic elections for citizens and candidates.