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Acquaint yourself with election terminologies before E-day; EC advises media practitioners



Ghana’s Electoral Management Body (EMB) has urged media practioners in the northern region to acquaint themselves with election terminologies to avoid creating fear and panic during the December 7 general elections.

Appropriate terminologies such as rigging, irregularities, malpractices and fraud, the  EMB said, will allay fear and panic among the citizens on Election Day.

Explaining the terminologies to journalist at a day capacity building workshop organized by the EC with support from the European Union in Tamale, the northern regional director of the Electoral Commission, Mr Bruce Ayisi, said no election officials (temporary staff ) are allowed to grant interview or speak to the media on administrative issues on Election Day.

The elections officials, he said, can only provide basic information regarding starting time, number of register voters at polling station and nothing more. The media he said could clarify administrative issues with  district EC officers or the communication directory at the EC headquarters.

Presiding officers, he explained, are the heads of polling stations, while returning officers are the heads of constituencies who oversee the conduct of the election under the supervision of the district officer.

He assured the media that, the EC will continue to lend its support to media practitioners to ensure credible and incident free elections. “We depend on you to have peaceful elections,” Mr Ayisi added.

On proxy voting, Mr Ayisi assured that it will come on because all the necessary process has been done and the list will be made available at the polling stations.

The EC regional chairman also made a passionate appeal to the electorate to go back to their work places or various homes after casting their votes and may return to the polling stations to witness the process if they so wish.

If a ballot cannot be counted because of various reasons, it is termed rejected ballot paper. Spoilt ballots are those that didn’t get inserted into the box.

Registered voters are expected to cast their votes at 2,688 polling stations across the entire northern region.

He also took the opportunity to unveil the new white plastic screen which said can withstand any weather condition.

Journalists regional chairman

The northern regional chairperson of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Caesar Abagali who took journalists through their role in election observed that, if the media discharge their duties well, they will leave no room for people to create conflict.

Mr Abagali also entreated practitioners especially those on radio to ensure that politicians with intentions of causing trouble are prevented from using their medium to spew out their unguarded utterances.

Practitioners, the GJA chair added, should comply with electoral rules and regulations and urged the electoral commission to also avail themselves to the media.

The policies of the various political parties Mr Abagali said must be subjected to proper scrutiny for the electorates to make proper choices.

On election results, Mr Abagali pleaded with media houses and journalistse to desist from declaring or pronouncing candidates as winners when the mandated electoral commission has not done so.

This, he noted could create problems and advised that emphasis should be on provisional results from polling stations.

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