Yussif Ibrahim, GNA
Kumasi, Oct 22, GNA – The youth have been charged to take active part in the impending District Level Elections (DLE) and referendum seeking to amend article 53 (3) to pave way for political parties to sponsor candidates in the DLE.
Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission (EC) who made the call, said the youth as key stakeholders in Ghana’s electoral process, had a critical role to play for a successful exercise.
He was speaking at a youth dialogue organized by the EC to discuss pertinent issues on the referendum and the DLE in Kumasi.
It formed part of series of sensitization programmes to engage various identifiable groups in the region by the EC ahead of the December elections.
Over hundred participants drawn from various youth groups, political parties and religious bodies attended the event and made significant contributions to the discussions.
Dr Quaicoe observed that the youth had the potential to make or unmake any election, making them a critical segment of the populace that needed to be targeted in ensuring a peaceful election.
He said it was imperative for the EC to regularly engage the youth on electoral matters to equip them with adequate information as a means of curbing electoral violence, which are often perpetrated by the youth.
The EC, he noted, attached much importance to the role of the youth in elections and would continue to build their capacities with the hope that they would serve as peer educators in their various communities.
Throwing more light on the referendum, Dr. Quaicoe said the amendment of Article 53(3) of the 1992 Constitution, which the referendum sought to achieve was not to pave way for the election Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), but to allow multi-party participation in the DLE.
He explained that Article 53(3) was an entrenched provision which required a referendum to amend it but Article 243, which mandated the President to nominate MMDCEs could be amended by parliament, adding that, the legislative body had already commenced the processes to amend that provision.
Mr Benjamin Bano-Bio, the Regional Director of EC who took the participants through electoral offences entreated them to observe rules governing elections to avoid being penalized.
They should play the watchdog role as future leaders and guard against manipulations by selfish individual whose agenda would not inure to the benefit of the nation.