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Vote-buying unattainable way to run democracy – NCCE

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As the country prepares for the 2024 General Election, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has raised worry over the “deepening” of the culture of political monetisation.

The Commission expressed worry that the issue of vote-buying during elections had become more than just a supply issue, with people demanding money from politicians before exercising their civic responsibilities.

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Kathleen Addy, Chairperson of NCCE, condemned vote-buying as an existential threat to Ghana’s democracy in an address to media on the occasion of 2024 Constitution Day, which occurs on January 7.

“We are at a point where a major criterion for getting elected into public office is the candidates’ ability to dole out cash to voters. It is time to own up to this terrible practice and commit to ending it. If we don’t end it, it will end us,” she said.

She added: “If we only elect those who can distribute hard cash and gifts, we run the risk of exposing ourselves to the dark and dirty money readily available in the world and we will sell our country to forces we cannot even begin to imagine.”

The purpose of Constitution Day is to recognize the nation’s joint efforts to ensure that the ideals of democracy, the rule of law, and constitutional values are respected.

Its purpose is to remind citizens of their common commitment to a system of unbroken constitutional order.

The Fourth Republic has already lasted significantly longer than the previous three republics, which were all ended by military incursions.

Ghana will vote for a president and members of parliament for the next four years on December 7, 2024.

The NCCE stated that it was prepared to properly carry out its mandate and educate voters in order for them to make educated choices in the December 7 elections.

The Commission has so begun to work and engage the citizens under the subject “Together we can build Ghana, so get involved.”

Ms. Addy stated that the Commission’s goals included lowering voter apathy, promoting citizen engagement, and rallying residents to make educated decisions that would benefit the people as a whole.

“…2024 will be a test case on our level of political, religious tolerance, and respect for ethnic and cultural diversity; basically 2024 is an opportunity to affirm our political maturity,” she said.

Ms. Addy advised people to reject politicians who incite violence and asked politicians to put the country first in their interactions with citizens.

She also urged the media to avoid from using their platforms to disseminate disinformation, hate speech, personal assaults, and divisive statements.

Reverend Dr. Cyril G. K. Fayose, General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, urged all stakeholders and people to do their share to preserve the country’s peace since the start of the Fourth Republic.

Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, the National Chief Imam’s Spokesperson, stated that the appeal for peace should not be reinforced just during election years, but should be supported at all times to achieve long-term peace.

Mr. George Amoh, Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, advised the media to stay informed on the text of the Constitution and to educate the people about their rights and duties as established in the Constitution.

 

 

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