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Mon, Sep

Keeping the gate towards December 7

All too soon another election is around the corner and Ghanaians will be called upon to give their mandate to a new President and 275 Members of Parliament (MPs).

As we inch towards the D-day, tension is rising among the people, especially between supporters of the two major political parties – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

All Ghanaians are stakeholders in this national exercise but the key players are the election management body, the Electoral Commission (EC), and the political parties.

The roles to be played by all the voters is crucial for the success of the polls. All these actors must play by the rules of the game. They should not only preach peace; they should, by words and deed, demonstrate to the whole world that they are ready to sustain the peace and stability of the country.

It is obvious that in this fertile political season, some political party leaders can easily get carried away by the crowds at rallies and be tempted to use language that is unacceptable in any civilised discourse.

The use of intemperate language should not be tolerated by any peace-loving Ghanaian, and voters, no matter their political persuasion, should be bold enough to stand up against anybody who is bent on derailing the peace of the country.

It is against this background that the Daily Graphic reminds media practitioners to rise up to their gate-keeping role. They know that the electorate require information at this crucial time to make informed decisions, but that does not mean that even, information that has the tendency to divide the nation must be made available to the people.

Media practitioners, in their reportage, must uphold the principles enshrined in their code of ethics. They must pledge to discharge their duties without fear or favour and be bold to demand accountability from all those who seek the mandate of the people to govern.

In their determination to play this watchdog role to the letter, however, media practitioners must be fair, accurate and balanced in their stories so that they also do not become partisan in the discharge of their constitutional mandate.

The Daily Graphic calls on the media to pledge to safeguard the peace, unity and stability of Ghana before, during and after the December elections.

Ghana has been touted as the beacon of hope and democratic governance on the African continent where countries abiding by the true democratic tenets can be counted on the finger tips.

We know elections are emotive issues and that is why the election management body is tasked to state clearly the rules and avoid creating the impression that it may be a bias referee.

That is why at this stage, the EC must take decisions that help to build trust and confidence in the process towards December 7.