AS PART of its contribution to peaceful elections on December 7, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has urged the media, political parties and all Ghanaians to respect the laws of Ghana and refrain from declaring results that have not been certified by officials of the Electoral Commission (EC).

The umbrella body of pharmacists further reminded all Ghanaians, especially the media and political parties that by law, only the EC has the mandate to declare winners of presidential and parliamentary elections.

In a related development, the National Media Commission (NMC) has also reminded the media of their obligation to ensure free, fair credible and peaceful elections.

A statement issued by the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Pharm. James Ohemeng Kyei, cautioned that any declaration of the impending 2012 presidential and parliamentary election results by any media house, political party or any other person or institution not authorized by the EC constitutes a breach of the law and poses serious threat to the peace and security of the nation.

?While we appreciate the need for various political parties to collate election results from various polling stations in the constituencies and at the regional and national levels, only results collected and certified by officials of the EC must be put in the public domain by the media and political parties,? the statement reiterated.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, the statement noted, is concerned about unauthorized declaration of election results by actors in the political arena because it is a potential source of conflict and insecurity.

?As a nation with 20 years experience in democratic governance in the fourth republic, we have to learn from our past mistakes and avoid any acts or omissions that have the potential of destabilizing our motherhood,? the statement added.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana also appealed to parents of minors on the voters? register to prevent them from voting on December 7, 2012, since minors? voting could be a source of conflict.

?Since the EC has already identified polling stations where minors did register with impunity, we humbly call on the security agencies to work closely with the EC to beef up security at these polling stations in order to effectively manage all possible disagreements,? it urged.

The pharmacists further appealed to all political parties who were signatories to the Kumasi Peace Accord to accept the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections as would be declared by the EC.

They also called on EC to do all it can to ensure that the process is free, fair, efficient and transparent so as to preserve the credibility and acceptance of the outcome of all stakeholders.

??the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana wishes all registered voters in the 26,015 polling stations a happy elections day on December 7, 2012,? the statement concluded.

A statement issued by NMC Chairman Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere on the December 7 general elections said the commission expects the media to abide by the GJA?s NMC?s Guidelines for Political Journalism and Elections and must only report certified reports from the EC, adding that where results are provisional the media and journalists are expected to say so.

?The NMC is also directing the media not to publish political messages and adverts 24 hours before the elections of December 7, 2012, as stated in its Guidelines for Political Advertising,? it added.

This directive, according to NMC, is in consonance with the ruling of the EC that there should be no political campaigning throughout the country 24 hours before the elections.

?Accordingly, radio houses, television stations and the print media should bear this directive in mind and not allow their space, platforms and programmes to be used by political spokespersons or any other persons directly or indirectly,? the statement said.

The NMC also reminded all stakeholders that any complaints against the media should be reported to the commission, which has set up a special committee to respond quickly to complaints about media before, during and after elections.

By Awudu Mahama

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