Politics of Thursday, 13 December 2012
The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) in collaboration with Civic Forum Initiative (CFI), a broad coalition of civil society actors have reviewed the post-election political situation in the country.
The review followed the declaration of the December 7 Presidential and Parliamentary election results by the Electoral Commission (EC) on December 9.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Chairman of the CFI Steering Committee, Major General Nii C. Coleman (Rtd) said IDEG-CFI noted the concerns expressed by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) about the conduct of the elections and the outcome.
He said the coalition recalled the spirit of the Kumasi Declaration and the commitment of the presidential candidates to lead the national process of ensuring peace in the country, and the elimination of electoral violence, impunity and injustice.
Maj Gen Coleman said, in line with the Kumasi declaration, the coalition commends the leadership of NPP and for its decision to seek redress through the court, and the efforts by the party leadership to restrain their supporters from taking the law into their hands.
He said the coalition had recognised that using due process to resolve election related disputes is at the heart of democracy, adding: “By going to court, the party is seeking to pursue a legitimate cause of standing up against perceived impunity and injustice in the country.”
Maj Gen Coleman said the coalition has noted that in all elections, there have been criminal acts and allegations of electoral fraud and non-prosecution of the perpetuators facilitate impunity and injustice.
He said it is imperative that such allegations are thoroughly investigated at all levels of the electoral process.
“We call on …stakeholders to support the relevant State institutions to investigate these allegations professionally without fear or favour.”
“The coalition in recognition of media rights and freedom of speech condemns all acts of violence and attacks on any member of the public and media. We are calling on all political parties to equally do the same and respect the rights of the media.”
The coalition however recommended that all sides of the political divide should remain calm and cooperate with relevant State institutions to resolve all election disputes through appropriate channels.
It suggested the need for the political parties and the EC to support the appropriate investigative bodies to undertake full scale investigation into all alleged cases of electoral offences including fraud and other criminal acts during Election 2012.
The coalition asked the NPP and other aggrieved entities to demonstrate unqualified commitment to the integrity of the judicial process and accept the outcome.
The body also appealed to the rank and file of the political parties to be tolerant of other parties to display their party paraphernalia and call on the leadership and supporters of the two major political parties-NPP and NDC to adhere to the Public Other Act and all other laws regulating mass assemblies and demonstrations.
“We urge the two parties to refrain from…pronouncements that inflame passion, incite violence and undermine the credibility of State institutions as well as the peace of the nation and due legal process.”
It also urge the security services to remain alert and discharge their duties professionally and impartially at all times in order to sustain the confidence the public had reposed in them as they seek to secure the peace and stability of the nation.
The coalition reminded the public to be sensitive at all times and to be mindful of provocative actions and utterances.