By Benjamin Akoto, GNA
Koforidua (E/R), Nov. 16, GNA - The Catholic Diocese of Koforidua in collaboration with the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference has launched a sensitisation programme on the upcoming referendum and district level elections.
The programme is aimed at whipping the interest of members of the church across the Eastern Region in the upcoming elections on the 17th of December this year.
The programme was launched on the theme, “Participation of political parties and citizens in local level elections”.
The event was also organised in partnership with Peace and Justice Commission, an advocacy group in the Catholic Diocese with focus on educating communities on local governance system and was funded by Konrad Adenuer Stiftung of Germany.
Addressing the gathering at the launch, the Catholic Bishop of the Koforidua Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa-Agyekum said generally the attitude of most Ghanaians towards the local level elections was low therefore ,it was important for all hands to be on deck toreach out to many people to understand and appreciate the need to get involved in December 17 elections.
He explained that participation in elections apart from being a civic duty, the church also believed that it was a religious duty that each and everyone should participate in.
The Bishop urged the members of the church to talk about the election and the referendum to others and encouraged them to participate in the election.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour said the President believed that the mandate of deciding leaders in local governance should be given back to the people to elect their own local leaders.
He explained that parliament was working to amend article 243 clause 1 of the 1992 constitution so that the President would no more appoint Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s}.
He called on Ghanaians to turn up to vote ‘’Yes’’ to amend article 55 clause 3 so that political parties could actively participate in local government elections.
The Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education(NCCE, Mr Alex Sackey said as civic educators, some of the challenges they were confronted with had to do with voter apathy ,because voters complained that the Assemblies and Unit Committees did not live up to expectation.
He said the first time student voters in school could also have their examination week coinciding with the date for the elections and the referendum and that could affect the outcomes of the election since their number was substantial.
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