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Catholic bishops condemn vote-buying

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The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. Charles Palmer-Buckle, read out the communique at the end of the session

The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has raised concerns about the phenomenon of vote-buying that has characterised campaigning recently, describing it as an insult to unsuspecting voters.

The Conference of eminent Roman Catholic bishops has, therefore, advised politicians against such acts.

The expressed these sentiments in a communiqué released at the end of the bishops’ annual plenary assembly in Tamale.

The assembly began on October 7 and ended on Friday, October 14.

The communiqué was strewn with statements on the upcoming elections.

The bishops, first and foremost, asked for more logistics for the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC), commending it for recent measures taken ahead of the December 7 polls.

“We commend the Electoral Commission for all the measures it has put in place to ensure peaceful, free, fair, transparent, and credible elections,” said the communiqué signed by President of the Conference Most Reverend Philip Naameh, who is also the Archbishop of Tamale.

“We strongly urge that the Commission should be provided with all the logistics necessary for the elections.

“We call on Ghanaians to repose trust and confidence in the work of the Electoral Commission throughout the period of elections.”

It said during the electioneering period politicians should be wary of the temptation of “making promises that they know they cannot fulfil, because this amounts to deceiving the people of Ghana.”

“We urge them to avoid hate-filled statements and expressions that threaten revenge and vendetta.”

Ghana’s 60th anniversary

The bishops raised concern about the current political atmosphere in the country ahead of the December 7 polls.

“We are one people and we cannot accept that elections should divide us”.

But they advised all and sundry to safeguard “our unity, growth, development, and destiny as one people”.

They said they are looking forward to the country’s 60th anniversary on March 6, 2017.

“We intend to hold a National Eucharistic Congress in 2017 to rededicate through prayer and reflection our dear motherland to our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

They, therefore, expressed the desire to see a peaceful cross-over into 2017.

To this end, the bishops met with the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and the Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor, during the seven-day assembly to make sure the country crosses the December 7, 2016 hurdle in peace.

They called on chiefs to desist from partisan politics especially showing open support for one candidate or the other.

“Politicians and traditional leaders must work to foster peace and seek the integral development of Ghanaians rather than divide them.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

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