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Politics of Thursday, 9 December 2004

Source: GNA

Use due process to challenge election results

Accra, Dec. 9, GNA - The General-Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, the Reverend Dr Fred Deegbe, on Thursday urged political parties and candidates challenging elections results to use the due process of law to seek redress instead of just crying wolf. He said if they did not address their grievances in the best way they would mar the otherwise peaceful and successful general election that were conducted on Tuesday.

Stating his position on the just ended elections in an interview with the GNA on telephone, Rev Deegbe said: "We are quite taken aback by the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) press conference held last night and we hope the issues raised would be clarified for everybody to be satisfied."

He said despite the few incidents that were recorded in some polling centres, as with any elections worldwide, the voting was generally peaceful and professionally conducted by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Rev. Deegbe, however, urged the EC to intensify its public education on the electoral process in future elections for the people to really understand the processes so that they would vote correctly to minimise the number of rejected ballots.

"The message should not just be 'go and vote'; it must be well explained to the people on how they are to vote appropriately." On security, Rev Deegbe noted that security at the polling stations was quite effective and the multiplicity of media coverage of the elections also helped immensely.

He said the Christian Council of Ghana and the Catholic Secretariat particularly took personal interest in the elections by sending their observation teams to the polls and reports they have received were very encouraging.

Rev. Deegbe commended Ghanaians for fully participating in the elections, saying that they should sustain the euphoria with which they voted and continue to be vigilant and monitor the winners as they assumed office to address issues affecting them.

He advised winners to see their victory as a win for the whole nation but not for a single political party.

Rev. Deegbe asked losers to learn their lessons, comport themselves, package their messages well for future elections and avoid sending false alarm that could lead to mayhem.

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