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General News of Friday, 27 November 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2020 Elections: CSOs embark on peace, voter education campaign

The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Governance and Security has emphasized the need for security agencies, the Electoral Commission, political parties and the general public to promote and embrace the message of peace as the nation heads in the 2020 elections.

Speaking at a press conference on November 26, 2020, the Executive Director of West Africa Centre for Counter Extremism, Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar said that, for peace to prevail in the country, there must be a consented effort by institutions and the general public to achieve same.

He noted that as the election nears, there have been concerns over the activities of vigilante groups, reprisal attacks by party fanatics and use of inflammatory speeches on media platforms.

Mumuni Muqthar appealed to the police and relevant institutions to position the message of peace at the heart of any discussion.

To help achieve this, the Coalition of CSOs in Governance and Security has launched the ‘One Ghana Peace’ campaign that seeks to create awareness about peace and the dangers of violence.

“The Coalition of CSOs in Governance and Security will work with partners across all the 16 regions of Ghana and in all the 275 constituencies to mobilize eligible citizens to turn out to vote on election day without any fear of intimidation”.

“We will conduct simultaneous Voter education and information campaign against electoral violence. The education will feature information on the prevention of human rights violations”, he said.

A worrying trend witnessed in the last few elections is the rise in spoilt ballot papers.

To help deal with the situation, the CSOs have pledged to educate the citizens on how to go about the electoral process.

“To deepen citizens knowledge about the electoral process and their electoral choices. This will help reduce spoilt ballots whilst helping to make better-informed choices for citizens”.

“The peace campaign will target ALL ELIGIBLE VOTERS, by providing them with credible information to increase their willingness to go to the polls to vote in ensuring electing their preferred choice of political leaders whilst refraining from violent tendencies during the polls, the lead up to the declaration of results and the aftermath of the entire elections processes” he said.

Touching on the hotspots identified by the security agencies, Mumuni Muqthar urged the security agencies to step up their efforts in combating violence.

“For the hotspots that have been published, this is the single biggest number we have seen so far since 1992 in terms of the number of hotspots relating to elections.”

“There have been significant concerns from the local population about the capacity or the ability of our security agencies to do a good job and ensure we have peaceful elections.

There is a significant deficit of trust among political parties in terms of security from the Ghana police service and the security agencies involved", he said

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