THE Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, has inaugurated the regional electoral task force and charged the members to avoid dictating to the Electoral Commission (EC).
He noted that the task force was not meant to replace the EC and that it was only to assist the commission to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.
Mr Owusu-Ansah indicated that the task force would take directives from the EC to ensure that there was peace before, during and after the elections.
Members of the task force include the heads of security agencies in the region.
He said the whole world was watching Ghana as to how it would conduct the elections and stressed that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure that everything went on peacefully.
The regional minister said it was in that regard that President Kufuor had stated several times that he would never preside over acts that would go to tarnish the nation's democratic process.
He advised the members to be tactful, fair and firm in the performance of their duties.
The regional minister gave the assurance that the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) would support the task force in the discharge of its duties.
"But let me assure you that neither the RCC nor I will interfere with your duties," he added.
Mr Owusu-Ansah said as the region with the highest number of constituencies, the challenges associated with electioneering in Ashanti could be enormous.
It was, therefore, important that the regional task force co-operated with the district task forces to ensure well-defined roles, all geared towards peace.
He appealed to journalists to be circumspect in their reportage to avoid inflaming passions.