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Nov polls: Anti-incumbency abuse campaign launched
NEWS | GACC News

In view of the hue and cry over President John Mahama’s recent ‘Accounting to the People Tour,’ which was described by political observers and opposition parties as abuse of incumbency, three anti-graft bodies have jointly launched a project dubbed: ‘Promoting a Level Political Playing Field: Reducing Abuse of Incumbency and Electoral Corruption’, to monitor the 2016 Elections.

In view of the hue and cry over President John Mahama’s recent ‘Accounting to the People Tour,’ which was described by political observers and opposition parties as abuse of incumbency, three anti-graft bodies have jointly launched a project dubbed: ‘Promoting a Level Political Playing Field: Reducing Abuse of Incumbency and Electoral Corruption’, to monitor the 2016 Elections.

 The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), with funding from STAR-Ghana launched the project as part of their contributions at ensuring free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections in November this year.

 A press statement jointly released by the groups explained that the project constitutes civil society’s contribution towards a free, fair and credible 2016 elections.

 “The key objectives are to: (i) reduce incidences of abuse of incumbency and electoral corruption, and thereby create a level playing field in the 2016 Elections and (ii) to advocate for the enforcement of existing laws as well as the possible introduction of new laws, policies and guidelines pertaining to regulating abuse of incumbency and electoral corruption.

 “It is important to note that in 2012, the GII led a similar coalition to monitor abuse of incumbency and electoral corruption. This latter project, together with earlier ones executed by CDD-Ghana during the 2004 elections, has increased awareness amongst Ghanaians on these governance and electoral related challenges,” the statement said. The statement added: “The credibility of the 2016 elections depends on the extent to which the political playing field will be levelled”.

 The project has trained twenty Abuse of Incumbency Observers and Media Monitors (drawn from various constituencies across the country where the project is being implemented), who will be monitoring and reporting the conduct of randomly-selected incumbent candidates. They were also trained about access to state media facilities by political parties and their representatives. These activities commenced on 1 June 2016 and will continue to the end of the campaigning season.”

 The project will organise bi-monthly media and key stakeholder briefing sessions to provide information on project findings to the public, with the first briefing scheduled for August 2016.

 A set of well-defined indicators including: abuse of public functions and platforms; level of access to public facilities and use of state funded projects to solicit votes, is being utilised for this assessment.

 The coalition encourages all political parties and their representatives, who have qualified to participate in the 2016 general elections, to demonstrate integrity and commitment to the people of Ghana by being law-abiding at all times and by upholding high ethical standards throughout the 2016 campaign season.

Source: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Nov-polls-Anti-incumbency-abuse-campaign-launched-444580

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