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General News of Friday, 9 September 2016


2016 Election: Anyidoho cautions warmongers

“Intemperate language and violent conduct is not acceptable” and members of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) who violate the country’s laws by engaging in such will be made to face the music, Deputy General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Koku Anyidoho has declared.

“I am happy that the police are ready, the military is ready. For me, identifying the flashpoints is excellent, the readiness of security agencies even more excellent. The message we want to tell people is that if you go and misconduct yourself, it is your own cup of tea,” Mr Anyidoho cautioned when he commented on the EC and Ghana Police Service’s preparations towards ensuring the December polls go well in some identified falshpoints.

He added: “Politics is a contest of ideas and not how heavy your punch is,” stressing that what the NDC seeks at the December 7 polls is “not violence but votes” to help it retain power.

Mr Anyidoho maintained that it had been “the position of the party that when we find out that what you are doing is not proper, we are able to come out openly and chastise”. “I have heard it in the past about politicians clapping for people who use violent and abusive language, but I do not think that is the fact, certainly not in the NDC. We have the capacity to chide and call people to order.”

According to him, President John Mahama has in recent times warned NDC members not to use the health status of any political opponent for political gains.

Mr Anyidoho was reacting to comments by the Electoral Commission (EC) that the current political environment was hostile, a situation the election management body described as a recipe for violence in this year’s presidential and parliamentary polls.

This admission is coming barely a month after an international delegation made up of representatives of the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute revealed after an assessment that there was an increasingly polarised political environment and heightened tension ahead of the general elections in December.

Speaking at a colloquium on peaceful elections in Ghana on Wednesday September 7, chairperson of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei had said the commission had identified some 81 flashpoints in the country prior to the elections and also blamed the media for allowing political communicators to set the agenda every day.

Mr Anyidoho admitted in an interview with Prince Minkah on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show that politicians were to blame for electoral violence.

“If there are flashpoints, it is not the EC or police who are creating the flashpoints but the activities of political parties, so it incumbent on us to work to prevent these occurrences,” he admonished.