Ghana: Press highlights pledge by President Akufo-Addo for credible elections, others

The pledge by President Akufo-Addo to the United Nations that Ghanaians have agreed to work together to ensure transparent, free,…

The pledge by President Akufo-Addo to the United Nations that Ghanaians have agreed to work together to ensure transparent, free, fair, safe and credible elections and the EC’s denial of the claims by the NDC that the names of its supporters were removed from the voters register are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday announced to the United Nations that Ghanaians have agreed to work together to ensure transparent, free, fair, safe and credible elections.

“It is a matter of great pride to me that, in spite of the difficulties in conducting an election during a pandemic, I am able to state that all Ghanaians have agreed that we have to work together to ensure peaceful elections,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said this in a televised address he delivered from his base in Accra at the 75th Session of the United Nations’ General Assembly which was held in New York in the United State of America (USA).

He said the general election would be the eighth since Ghana embarked on the constitutional rule in the Fourth Republic in 1992.

“Each of the elections has seen an improvement on the previous one, and we are looking forward to this year’s passing off peacefully, with characteristic Ghanaian dignity. We are keenly aware of the reputation that Ghana has built as a tolerant and working democracy, and we have every intention to nurture and improve upon it,” he stated.

The newspaper says that the Electoral Commission has said that the allegations that it was removing the names of supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) from the voters register ahead of Election 2020 was “unfounded.”

In a press statement issued on Wednesday evening, September 23, 2020, the EC said, “Our attention has been drawn to statements in the media by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its flagbearer to the effect that the Electoral Commission is carrying out an agenda to remove the names of its supporters and sympathisers from the Voters Register.”

“This allegation is false,” the EC said in the press statement.

The NDC flagbearer, Mr. John Dramani Mahama and his running mate, Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang on Tuesday cut short their campaign tours in the Bono and Central regions respectively.

They explained that they were returning to Accra to address issues of challenges with the provisional voters register for Election 2020.

The Graphic also reports that the Electoral Commission (EC) has extended the voters exhibition exercise by two days.

This, according to the commission, is aimed at serving the interest of its stakeholders and promote greater participation and inclusion.

By this, the exercise which started last Friday, September 18, would end on Sunday, September 27, 2020.

A statement issued by the EC on Wednesday said, “The Commission is of the view that this extension will allow even more stakeholders to check and verify their voter registration details. This is instrumental for the achievement of a clean and credible Voters Register.

“The last day of the Exhibition Exercise will therefore be Sunday 27th September, 2020. We encourage the Public to take advantage of the extension by making time to verify their registration details.”

The Times reports that the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Gold Coast Fund Management (GCFM) have called on government to include them in the first phase of the bailout package.

This followed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s interview on a local FM station on September 4, 2020, that, GCFM customers were excluded in the first phase of the bailout package by government.

According to the group, “the comment by the President was incomprehensible and cannot be a substitute for the many lives that are being lost as a result of the financial crises they find themselves.”

At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the group, Mr. Charles Nyame, said the fact that liquidation order has not been secured because GCFM was in court contesting the revocation of their licence does not presuppose that innocent Ghanaians must continue to suffer.

“We believe laws are made for man and not man for the law, therefore, there is the need for government to prioritise the lives of its citizens above any other thing, and not hide behind the law to cause more havoc to innocent Ghanaian lives,” he added.

The newspaper says that Ghana’s Labour Act 651 is under review to address sexual harassment and other emerging trends of violence against women at workplaces.

Mrs. Ruth Ferkah Kyere, Head of International/Gender Desk, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, said this at a meeting organised by Gender Centre for Empowering Development (GenCED) in Accra.

The meeting, which brought together stakeholders from the Trades Union Congress, National Labour Commission, Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, was on the theme: “Mitigating violence and sexual harassment against women at the workplace.”

Mrs. Kyere, who is also the Deputy Director of Human Resource of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, said her outfit was reviewing the Labour Act, Act 651, which was passed in 2003 with its social partners, including the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to come out with the necessary recommendations.

The Ghana Labour Act 2003 in section 175 defines sexual harassment as an unwelcome, offensive or importunate sexual advances or request made by an employer or superior officer or co-worker, whether the worker is a man or woman.