Politics of Wednesday, 20 February 2013
The Coalition of Ghanaian Voters, a pressure group, has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, against what it termed disparaging and insulting remarks about the President, Mr John Mahama, and open threats against some judges of the Supreme Court by Let My Vote Count, another pressure group.
The three-point petition, received on behalf of the Speaker by Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, Majority Chief Whip, in the company of Mr Dan Botwe, Minority Chief Whip and the Clerk of Parliament, Mr Emmanuel Anyimadu, also called on Mr Adjaho to invite the group, some of whom are members of Parliament to explain why they carried out the alleged threats .
It also called on the House to haul those MPs who are members of Let My Vote Count before the Privileges Committee of Parliament to answer for their conduct.
The petition also called on civil society, the clergy, the National Peace Council, traditional leaders, youth groups and organised labour to condemn all such calls to violence.
Presenting the petition, the leader of the group, Dr Clement Apaak, said the collated and certified results of the December 2012 elections showed that President Mahama had chalked a “one touch” victory in the presidential elections.
He said the Electoral Commission, the constitutionally mandated body for elections in Ghana declared the President winner while all the domestic and international bodies who observed the elections, attested to the fact that indeed Mr John Mahama had won and that the elections were free, fair and transparent.
He intimated that after the polls, some bigwigs of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), namely its Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo Addo, Running Mate, Mahamudu Bawumia and Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey petitioned the Supreme Court claiming that there had been irregularities and that President Mahama did not win the election.
Dr Apaak said instead of waiting patiently for the verdict of the Supreme Court, some citizens including leading members of Let My Vote Count have openly threatened the judges sitting on the case and have also insulted President Mahama calling him a thief, among others.
More disturbing, he said, was the request of other members for permission from their leadership to bomb schools and smash cars as a way of drawing global attention.
He said the conduct and posture of the group had the tendency to disturb the peace, unity and stability of Ghana.
“Democracy depends on citizen participation, but that participation must be peaceful, respectful of the law, and tolerant of the different views of other groups and individuals.
“ If democracy is to work, citizens must not only participate and exercise their rights; they must respect the law and reject violence as well as leaders who propose violence as the solution to disagreements.
“Indeed it is violence and the promotion of violent behaviour that is the greatest threat to peace, unity and stability and, of course democracy itself as a form of governance,” he said.
Alhaji Muntaka and Mr Botwe took turns to assure the group that they would ensure that the petition was delivered to the Speaker and also advised the group to continue to use peaceful means to put across its grievances.