The Electoral Commission (EC) held a meeting with political parties today to collate their views and iron out complaints that might otherwise blemish the success of the elections.

The meeting was attended by all presidential candidates and officials of political parties except the flag-bearers of the National Democratic Congress and People’s National Convention who were represented by the parties’ leadership.

Addressing the opening session of the discussion, the Chairman of EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, spoke on the need for political parties, government, EC and electorate to play their respective roles in accordance with the rules and regulations governing elections in Ghana.

He reminded them that the success of this elections would depend on political parties and other interest groups.

“First as candidates perform and character of their campaigns will impact on the fairness of the elections. In this connection it will be important whether you carry out clean campaigns devoid of violence and intimidation; whether you discuss issues that affect the lives of the people and give them clear choice options.

“Whether you incite one ethnic or religious group against another; whether you respect one another as legitimate aspirants to the high office you are seeking and use civil instead of abusive language in reference to one another and whether you appoint good agents being persons who are knowledgeable and capable of sound judgement.”

Dr. Afari Gyan said as the country proceeds towards the elections, it is the responsibility of the police to “act professionally and adopts zero tolerance to violence and infractions to electoral laws and arrest and prosecute offenders”.

He spoke against abuse of incumbency by the government. The media were also advised to give equitable access to the candidates and report their activities accurately.

For the eligible voters, he said, “it will matter if each voter will cast one and only one vote and will not prevent others from doing the same.

“And at the end of the day, it will matter whether the court will decide election related disputes quickly and fairly.”

Nana Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress who represented Prof. Atta Mills, in an interview with Joy News expressed their confidence in the meeting and said it is a step in the right direction and expressed the hope that each political party will play by the rules.

Story by Isaac Essel