VOICE-Ghana, a budding disability rights group, based in Ho, said this in a statement, issued to the Ghana News Agency.The statement, signed by Francis Asong, VOICE-Ghana’s Executive Director, said so far the campaign messages had said very little about PwDs, even though they constituted an important force.
It urged politicians to be reminded by the adage that, “The ethical tone of a society is not set by how it treats its strongest, most powerful members, but by how it treats those who are weakest, most vulnerable and in need”.
The statement said, “PwDs are expecting political debates on the practical ways disability interest policies and the legislative framework, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by Ghana, the Mental Health Act, 2012 and the recent Inclusive Education Policy, will be implemented in the best interest of persons with disabilities”.
It said they also expected the manifestoes of political parties to outline strategic interventions in supporting persons with disabilities, to fully benefit from provisions of public goods and services at the national, regional, district and local levels.
The statement said the VOICE-Ghana, would soon lead a campaign on the development of a National Disability Manifesto, to inform the manifestos and development plans of political parties, as well as policies and programmes of relevant State and non-State agencies.
On the conduct of the elections, VOICE-Ghana appealed to all political parties, presidential and parliamentary candidates to conduct their campaigns in a credible and peaceful manner, devoid of political tensions, violence, insults and frivolous or misguided allegations.
The statement also appealed to the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) to be a “good referee and call a spade a spade”.
It urged the EC to upgrade the skills of its officials, including Presiding Officers and Polling Officers, on the emerging international standards on the Electoral Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and explore possible ways and strategies to effectively enfranchise voters with different types of disabilities during the election.