Police and Courts Should Protect Integrity of Elections-Kanga

Mr. David Kanga, Deputy Chairman in-charge of finance and administration, Electoral Commission (EC), has appealed to the police and the judiciary to facilitate the prosecution of electoral offenders to safeguard the integrity of elections. He said election irregularities posed a threat to national security therefore perpetuators should be made to face the full rigours of the law. Mr. Kanga made the appeal at the opening of a dialogue between officials of the EC and media practitioners at Fiapre near Sunyani. The one-day dialogue was attended by selected media practitioners from Upper West, Upper East, Northern and Brong-Ahafo regions and was aimed at reviewing media reportage of the 2008 general election. It was organised by the EC and funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr. Kanga noted that election irregularities undermined the credibility of national elections and could lead to instability and as such the commission was restructuring and reforming its processes to maintain its public trust and confidence. He appealed to the media to be frank, open and to seek clarification on issues bordering on elections before making it public. "Politicians create dramatic situations to send wrong impressions to the general public", Mr. Kanga said and entreated the media not to allow politicians to sway them in the course of their duties for their selfish political ambitions. "Do not focus on some uncouth behaviour of some politicians who resort to unethical means in order to win elections", he said. In a welcoming address, Mr. James Arthur-Yeboah, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the EC, said the commission's common desire and hope was to see future elections organised better, transparent and fairly reported. He noted that the international community had praised Ghana for its gradual move towards maturity in the organization and conducts of elections and expressed regret about acts and behaviour that did not follow election rules and procedures that during the 2008 elections. Mr. Samuel Aidoo, Director, Human Resource and General Services of the Commission, took participants through counting and recounting of votes, declaration of elections results and elections petitions.