Consensus-Building Will Help Drive Electoral Reforms –F. W. De Klerk

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Former South African President F. W. De Klerk has called for a wider consensus building in Ghana’s push for electoral reforms and warning against unilateral positions by the stakeholders especially the political parties.

Mr. De Klerk’s call comes in the wake of calls for the resignation of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Afari Djan before the implementation of any reforms.

According to the former South African Leader such calls should not be encouraged since it would not promote consensus building for such an important project in Ghana’s democratic growth.

He stated that when stakeholders are a part of the reforms, it makes the work of ensuring progress much easier.

Delivering a speech at the premises of the IEA where he met with some senior media persons Mr. De Klerk said he is convinced that the processes of consensus building rather than unilateral demands are the way to go in pursuit of urgent electoral reforms in Ghana.

“My advice is, desist from unilateral demands and rather go the way of using IPAC. It’s a unique institution that you have. Using IPAC, discuss it there, build a consensus on how this sensitive issue has to be dealt with” he said.

He also urged the media to contribute its quota by holding government accountable whilst ensuring responsible journalism.

“It’s very important for the media to have some form of self regulation, so that the loose cannons, because there are always loose cannons also in the media, there are loose cannons in politics and there are loose cannons in the media; So that if the loose cannons sort of tarnish the image of the media, the media takes action and don’t give the government the excuse to say, look at what they’ve done, look at what they’ve said, look how reckless they were” Mr. Klerk said.

He added that the media needs to be in some form of state control.

“I think self regulation of the media to ensure the ethical journalistic standards are adhered to. It’s very important in the process of upholding the independence of the media and freedom of speech which lies behind it” he intimated.

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