NCCE reactivates inter-party dialogue committee in UE

Bolgatanga� The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has revived the Upper East Regional Inter-Party Dialogue Committee as part of efforts to ensure free, fair and peaceful general elections in 2020 (IPDC).

The Committee comprised stakeholders from Ghana’s electoral process including; representatives from the Electoral Commission (EC), various political parties, security agencies, the NCCE, National Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Peace Council, Religious and Traditional authorities, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the media.

The project has funding support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and seeks to ensure that the stakeholders played key roles to achieving credible, free, fair and violent free elections next year.

Mr Pontius Pilate Baba Apaabey, the Regional Director, NCCE, said Ghana was the beacon of democracy in Africa as she successfully organised seven successive Presidential and Parliament elections under the current fourth republic.

He said it was imperative for stakeholders to work together to sustain the peace, cement the democratic credentials of the country and therefore accelerate sustainable national development.

This project therefore seeks to initiate approaches to the establishment of Inter-Party Dialogue Committees as a unifying body, which can promote peace and resolve conflicts before, during and after the 2020 general elections in order to enhance political, economic and social progress and stability.

In addition to the conflict transformation and dialogue function, the Inter-Party Dialogue Committees, shall help monitor and report cases of breach of rules and regulations relating to the conduct of the elections and the maintenance of public order, he said.

The Regional Director explained that the Project would focus attention on mediation and the resolution of petty conflicts that had the potential to mar the upcoming election which would be keenly contested.

This entails monitoring the enforcement of the electoral rules and regulations, promoting peaceful security situations, identifying issues that have the potential to trigger electoral conflict, and also promoting information sharing to avoid rumor-mongering, he said.

Mr Apaabey, said the 2020 general elections would be highly tensed considering the fact that an incumbent president would be contesting against a former president.

He mentioned Bolgatanga, Kassena-Nankana and Bawku Municipals, Builsa South and Kassena-Nankana West Districts as identified hotspots and said Bawku, Bongo, Pusiga, Fumbisi, Tempane, Zebilla, Chiana/Paga and Navrongo constituencies would be keenly contested and called on security agencies to take appropriate measures to safeguard law and order.

With the aforementioned issues in mind, this project will be used for dialogue to mitigate misinformation and misrepresentation amongst political parties and key stakeholders, thus, doing so will provide the opportunity for all parties to air out their concerns and problems, he noted.

In a speech read on her behalf, Madam Tangoba Abayage, the Regional Minister, commended the NCCE and UNDP for the project and said it would reduce incidence of violence before, during and after the 2020 election to ensure continuity of development.

The Regional Minister tasked the IPDC to work assiduously to ensure that the electorates’ particularly political party supporters appreciated the need for peace and how each could contribute to achieving it.

Mr Sheik Abu-Bakr Sadiq of the National Peace Council and Mr Bismarck Adongo Ayorogo of the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), a CSO, were elected co-chair of the Committee.

Source: Ghana News Agency