As the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections approach, the State should just take actions to protect against acts or threats of electoral violence.
We have to shield life and house whilst also ensuring that every single Ghanaian feels secure voting.
Ghana is a beacon of democracy during the region and we ought to make every energy to lead by case in point in conducting cost-free, good and violence-totally free elections.
Whilst measures to stop electoral violence have been taken in reaction to activities in latest memory, their implementation has been uneven. For example, the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon January 2019 by-election, in which about 18 individuals were being hurt, was extensively condemned.
A Commission of Inquiry (‘the Emile Quick Commission’) subsequently proven to look into the incident suggested that the President testimonials the construction and functions of the Countrywide Protection Ministry establish a standing command and command center to assess and approach intelligence for quick deployment and include critical officers of allied inside security businesses such as the police, military services, national safety, fire service, and customs.
The Emile Quick Fee also encouraged abandoning the use of masked males for civilian functions, specially election policing, and improving the safety of citizens’ elementary human rights in the functions of intelligence-centered agencies.
Next the Commission’s operate, Parliament also handed the Vigilantism and Associated Offences Act, 2019, which criminalises the establishment, funding or facilitation of vigilante groups, together with political party vigilante teams and land guards and their things to do in Ghana.
The stringent enforcement of this law—devoid of any political interference—and government’s entire implementation of the Emile Quick Commission report is important during and following the presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2020.
Scenarios of violence carry on to come up even after the Emile Small Commission’s do the job. In the course of the Electoral Commission’s modern voter registration workout, there ended up numerous circumstances of violence at Banda and Dormaa West in the Bono Region, Awutu Senya East in the Central Location,
Ho West in the Volta Location and Fadama and New Town in the Larger Accra Location. In Banda, a 28-yr-outdated gentleman was allegedly stabbed at a registration centre adhering to an altercation amongst supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Nationwide Democratic Congress (NDC).
In another incident at a Bono regional community, supporters of the two main parties clashed amidst gunshots, foremost to the loss of life of one particular man or woman and two many others injured.
In Awutu Senya East, shots have been fired in the course of a confrontation amongst folks thought to be aligned to the two most important functions, NPP and NDC. The Minister of Distinctive Enhancement Initiatives and MP for the Awutu Senya East Constituency, Mavis Hawa Koomson, who admitted to firing gunshots at the mentioned registration centre, is however getting investigated but has still to be brought to justice.
How the authorities treats these conditions of violence will possibly foster public assurance in the safety organizations or heighten fears of the ‘Ayawaso violence’ repeating itself at the December polls.
To assure people experience secure to vote at the December polls in constituencies across the place, the results of law enforcement investigations in these conditions ought to be manufactured public.
Persons uncovered culpable should really be quickly prosecuted, in accordance with the regulation.
Justice should be sent irrespective of political social gathering affiliation. Any functions or threats of electoral violence which are not swiftly and decisively dealt with by safety companies might have significant implications for our way of lifestyle and our overall economy publish-election 2020.
The media and civil culture organisations need to perform hand in hand with protection companies to recognize functions and threats of violence similar to our electioneering system for the same to be dealt with decisively, devoid of any partisan interference.
About the writer Dr. Grace Ayensu-Danquah, MD, MPH, FACS, is the NDC Parliamentary Applicant for the Essikado Constituency and a member of the NDC Covid-19 Technological Group.