A flagbearer aspirant of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr Divine Ayivor, has cautioned that Election 2020 is a test for the Electoral Commission (EC) to prove its credibility by offering a fair, free, credible, transparent and peaceful playing field for all parties.
He noted that elections were essential parts of the democratic processes and a means to manage political competition and conflict in a peaceful manner, hence the buck stopped with the EC to carry the processes through creditably.
Dr Ayivor indicated that the EC must purge itself of any political tag and ensure that no party gets any undue advantage over others just because it is in power or in opposition, create a level playing field for all parties to ensure confidence in the commission and the electoral processes through free, fair, credible, peaceful and transparent polls.
He said the media also had a role to play in ensuring a free, fair, credible, peaceful and transparent election and called on media organisations, the Ghana Journalists Association and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association to give all political parties equal space to reach out to the electorate.
“I urge the National Media Commission to ensure media accountability towards Election 2020 since the seeming creation of a two-party state by the media is unhealthy for democratic growth and development, media practitioners must tone down on boiling political temperature, especially between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), to ensure peaceful general election on December 7.
“The political heat between NPP and NDC is threat to our democracy but the media hold key to reducing heat for peaceful elections, journalists can make choice to either continue to raise political tempo, which will invariably create platform for violence, or reduce heat to allow peace reign.
“Political tempo can be reduced through pro-active reportage, creation of enabling environment for all electoral stakeholders, avoiding hate speech proponents, maintaining high professional gate-keeping standards, journalists should not allow their personal opinions and preferences to influence their reportage in processes leading to December polls and beyond.
“Journalists has role to play in monitoring elections to ensure transparency in processes, respect electoral laws, rules and regulations whilst creating level-playing field for all political parties to present their messages to electorate,” Dr Ayivor implored.