The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has commended the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) for consistent its electoral education during the recent District Level Elections (DLE).


CODEO noted that NCCE’s activities of public education through the media, citizen engagement at the grass root level, public fora, and the holding of community durbars across the country largely contributed to the marginal progress of the elections.

Mr Albert Kofi Arhin, the CODEO National Coordinator, stated in paper presented at a review workshop on the 2014/15 DLE it organised at Akosombo for stakeholders.

The Stakeholders review workshop forms part of CODEO’s post 2014/15 review activities with the view of drawing lessons from the conduct of the elections to help improve the conduct of future elections.

Presenting a review of Citizens Interventions in the 2014/2015 DLE, Mr Arhin noted that the NCCE was actively supportive throughout the various phases of CODEO’s intervention, and, particularly, in the run up to the September 1 election, NCCE’s support was phenomenal.

CODEO reiterated that the DA elections should be made partisan to ensure that the Affirmative Action Bill when it becomes law could be applied to the DA, thus requiring parties to field a certain percentage of women.

CODEO also suggested the urgent need to fix permanent date on the electoral calendar for DA elections and asked for gender sensitisation of the electorate to acknowledge the relevance of women’s leadership in the country.

CODEO noted, however, that the general voter education was still not impressive as official statistics from the Electoral Commission (EC) indicated that the 2015 DLE recorded 35.9 per cent voter turnout, whilst the 2010 DLE recorded 35.0 per cent.

“An increment of 0.9 per cent over almost a five-year period is not good enough,” Mr Arhin said, and called on stakeholders to inject public interest in the operations of the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Head of Graduate Studies, Institute of Local Government Studies, in a paper, urged the EC and NCCE to devote much of their energies on the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, as well as the DLE and Unit Committee elections.

He emphasised that the NCCE existed to partner the EC by providing civic education but unfortunately it continued to face functional deficiency in their civic education and democratic citizenship mandate because of resource constraints.

“This has affected the required role and partnership of the two Constitutional bodies in the management of the electoral systems in Ghana,” he said.

“It is no doubt that the EC has a number of legal and operational challenges in delivering its mandate”.

Additionally, Dr Osae noted, that inadequate sensitisation of citizens on their civic and political rights, inconsistency and frequent policy changes, absence of accurate information and feedback to citizens on the operations of the district assembly system continued to undermine the participation of citizens in local governance.

On the structure of the assemblies, Dr Oduro Osae said to bring governance closer to the people, each of the 216 districts had been divided into electoral and unit committees, where persons in the various communities elected their representatives to the unit committees and the district assembly.

He said the elected assembly members and the unit committee members constituted the calibre of local representatives who were elected to lead communities at the local government level.

Dr Oduro Osae said that the constitution placed an obligation on us to involve citizens in the local governance process ,which started with the election of local leaders.

“As a country we have come to accept the challenge by operationalising it in law and policy,” he said.

“The National Decentralization policy of 2010 recognises this role and provides for structures and resources to support its realisation. A further operationalisation is the conduct of local level elections to elect the assembly and unit committee members.”

The workshop was attended by officials of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Ghana News Agency; Institute of Local Government Studies; Gender Center for Empowering Development; Ghana Federation of the Disabled; Center for Local Government Advocacy; and National Youth Authority.

The rest are Civic Forum Initiative/IDEG; Local Government Service Secretariat; NALAG; Youth Bridge Foundation; and The Finder Newspaper.



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