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PRESS RELEASE: Persons With Disabilities Call For Peaceful General Election

Ghana is feverishly preparing for another General Election come 7th November 2016, where Members of Parliament and a President will be elected for the next four years. As the political temperature has started going up with verbal attacks, especially between the ruling NDC and the opposition NPP, VOICE GHANA would like to add its voice to other individuals and institutions to urge all political parties to walk the talk of peace at this critical moment. We appeal to all political parties and Aspiring MPs to conduct their campaigns in a credible and peaceful manner, devoid of political tensions, violence, insults and frivolous or misguided allegations.

We need to remind ourselves that the general population is made of all categories of people including women, children, persons with disabilities, and the aged. Whatever happens in the country affect everyone, especially persons with disabilities. So, peace is very important if we are to make progress as a nation. We need to stay as brothers and sisters and living together is the only solution for the development of our economy.

 

Politicians must remember that the ethical tone of a society is not set by how it treats its strongest, most powerful members, but by how it treats those who are weakest, most vulnerable and in need, and this is what we want to see in manifestoes of political parties. We are urging our politician not to forget us when they are drawing their development plans. We are expecting political debates on practical ways disability policy and legislative framework including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by Ghana, the Mental Health Act, 2012 and the recent Inclusive Education Policy will be implemented in the best interest of persons with disabilities. We are also expecting political manifestoes to outline strategic interventions in supporting persons with disabilities to fully benefits from provisions of public goods and services at the national, regional, district and local levels.

 

Our appeal to the Electoral Commission is to become the best referee and call a spade a spade. The Commission should also upgrade the skills of its officials including Presiding Officers and Polling Officers on the emerging international standards on the electoral rights of persons with disabilities, and explore possible ways and strategies to effectively enfranchise voters with different types of disabilities during the election.

 

VOICE GHANA, which is a disability rights and advocacy organization, will soon lead a campaign on the development of a National Disability Manifesto to inform the manifestos and development plans of political parties as well as policies and programmes of relevant state and non-state agencies.


Signed

 

Francis Asong

Executive Director, VOICE GHANA. Ho

0243913183

10th June 2016

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