General News of Friday, 23 November 2012
The National Peace Council (NPC) and Manhyia Palace will for the first time convene a joint high-level meeting with the presidential candidates of the December 2012 elections.
Also expected at the meeting are former Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor, the President of the National House of Chiefs, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, and Inspector General of Police.
The meeting, which is aimed at getting all the presidential candidates to publicly take a collective stand against "electoral violence, impunity and injustice", which is a recurring problem of elections in Ghana, is scheduled to take place at the Great Hall, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi next Tuesday, November 27.
A statement signed by Dr Emmanuel Akwetey of IDEG and copied to peacefmonline.com said throughout the year, and also much earlier, various groups of Ghanaian as well as individual citizens have responded to the widespread fear of electoral violence as a major threat to organising peaceful elections with credible outcomes this year.
"Review of the many commendable interventions so far has pointed to the need for a high level meeting with all the presidential candidates on this matter, as it puts the nation's cherished values of freedom and justice as well as unity and stability at great risk," he said.
The historic meeting in Kumasi thus provides a public space within which the presidential candidates as political leaders will openly and collectively take a stand against all acts of electoral violence, impunity and injustice during and after the December 2012 elections.
The statement said such a public manifestation of a unified stand by the political leaders against a serious threat to peaceful elections had been lacking, hence closing the gap will boost public confidence in the conditions for securing peaceful elections with credible outcomes in December 2012.
Though participation in the High Level Meeting in Kumasi is strictly by invitation, the statement pointed out that with the kind support of the various media houses in the country live coverage and reportage will be extended throughout the country.
Also invited are leaders and representatives of the political parties and their youth wings, representatives of civil society, business and trade associations, security agencies, relevant organs of the state, members of the Diplomatic Corp and media organizations.