Source: citifmonline.com - The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has condemned the violence associated with the just-ended by-election in the Talensi Constituency in the Upper East Region.
A statement signed by the Head of Research and Programmes, Dr. Franklin Oduro expressed worry that if the matter is not investigated and suspects brought to book, these violent attacks will eventually be replicated in the 2016 general elections.
“The 2016 general elections are less than 18 months. If left un-investigated and alleged perpetrators escape justice, such acts of violence will serve as license for those who are intent on institutionalizing violence in Ghana’s electoral and democratic processes,” the statement said.
The people of Talensi on Tuesday elected a new Member of Parliament (MP) to represent them in Ghana’s Legislature but the exercise was characterised by violent clashes in some of the electoral areas.
CDD-Ghana further stated that “reports of incidents of violence with sporadic firing of guns and attacks with machetes during the conduct of the polls, resulting in the hospitalization of victims and destruction of vehicles, is unacceptable and raises serious concerns about the ease and impunity with which violence is unleashed during elections in Ghana.”
The Center however commended the Electoral Commission (EC) and the security agencies for ensuring a peaceful election at the polling centers but they pointed out that the reported violence associated with the elections although outside the polling stations, “clearly undermines the democratic objective of peacefully electing political leaders.”
According to them, it is unacceptable for such incidents to take place during elections and urged the law enforcement agencies to apprehend the alleged perpetrators and ensure they face the full rigours of the law.
“This is a better option than political parties trading accusations at each other as to who is responsible for these unacceptable acts of election-related violence,” it said.
“CDD-Ghana, calls on the security and law enforcement agencies, as a matter of urgency, to investigate the reported violence, arrest and prosecute all the alleged perpetrators involved in the violence,” the statement added.
The Center stressed that “it is important that elections in Ghana are conducted in an environment free of fear, intimidation and violence.”
CDD-Ghana served notice that will monitor the outcome of the Police investigations into these incidents.
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