Ghanaian News

Vote-buying unattainable way to run democracy, says NCCE

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has expressed concern over what it describes as the “deepening” of the culture of monetisation of politics as the country prepares for Election 2024.

The NCCE said it had observed with concern that the issue of vote-buying during elections had become not only a supply problem but voters also demanded money from politicians before they exercised their civic responsibility.

Addressing journalists at a news conference to mark the 2024 Constitution Day, which falls on 7 January, Kathleen Addy, the chairperson of NCCE, described the vote-buying phenomenon as an existential threat to Ghana’s democracy.

“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 Constitution Day is intended to acknowledge the nation’s collective efforts at ensuring that the tenets of democracy, the rule of law and principles of constitutionalism are upheld.
It is designed to remind the citizens of their collective commitment to a regime of uninterrupted constitutional order.

The Fourth Republic has now endured far longer than any of the three previous republics, which were all cut short by military interventions.

Ghana will go to the polls on 7 December 2024 to elect a president and members of parliament for the next four years.

The NCCE said it was poised to effectively deliver on its mandate and educate citizens extensively to make informed choices in the 7 December polls.

The Commission has thus set to operate and engage the citizenry on the theme: “Together we can build Ghana, so get involved.”

Addy said the Commission had targeted reducing voter apathy, increasing citizens participation, and rallying citizens to make informed choices that would work in the collective interest of the people.

“…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.

Addy urged voters to reject politicians who would stoke violence and appealed to politicians to put the country first in their engagements with the electorate.

She also appealed to the media to refrain from using their platforms to spread misinformation, hate speech, personal attacks and divisive utterances.
Reverend Dr Cyril G. K. Fayose, general secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, rallied all stakeholders and citizens to play their part to safeguard the peace that the country had enjoyed since the commencement of the Fourth Republic.

Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, said the call for peace should not be intensified only during election years but should be encouraged at all times to ensure sustained peace.

George Amoh, the executive secretary of the National Peace Council, urged the media to be abreast of the content of the Constitution and educate the public on their rights and responsibilities as enshrined in the Constitution.

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