The National Commission for Civic Education’s (NCCE’s) Inter-Party Dialogue Committees (IPDCs) set up to work for the country’s peace before, during and after next year’s elections has begun work.
Representatives of the National Peace Council (NPC), the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council, political parties, Office of the National Chief Imam, the Ghana Police Service and the Electoral Commission (EC) constitute the membership of the IPDC.
In line with that, the Greater Accra Regional office of the NCCE has met with members of the committee in Accra to begin discussions on the agenda to promote peace and ensure stability ahead of Election 2020.
Present at the meeting were representatives from the National Peace Council (NPC), the Office of the National Chief Imam, the Electoral Commission (EC), the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and some political parties, including the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Addressing participants, Reverend Canon Okaijah Bortier, the Chairman of the IPDC, said the committee’s goal was to promote peace among Ghanaians and ensure that issues that had any potential to disrupt the peace was nipped in the bud.
Over the past years, he said, efforts had been made by the committee and various institutions to enable Ghanaians to understand that elections “are not a do or die affair”.
“In elections, the fact is that one person or party will win and the other will not win. Once people understand this basic truth, we will also know that it is not worth it to partake in any acts that could affect Ghana’s stability,” Rev. Bortier said and added that the committee would do its bit by working with the various political parties to adhere to standards that would ensure peace and at the same time promote development.
He also stressed the need for the EC to maintain its balance and not create a situation where some groups would feel the commission “is favouring one group at the expense of the other.”
“The EC must do everything to maintain its credibility so that the wrong impression people may hold against them will not hold,” he said.
Madam Lucille Hewlett Annan, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the NCCE, said the committee was established to help provide strategies that would help achieve free, fair and peaceful elections in 2020.
In addition to the conflict transformation and dialogue function, she said the IPDCs must help monitor and report cases of breach of rules and regulations relating to the conduct of the elections and the maintenance of public order.
“The committees shall, therefore, ensure that the political parties behave in the manner that is expected of them,” Madam Annan added.
On the peace agenda, she said the IPDCs had begun to draw its action plan for the 2020 general election, adding that a key aspect of it included the education of the electorate and supporters of political parties on election regulations.