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General News of Saturday, 25 July 2020


MPs, ministers leading violence at registration centres worrying – IDEG

Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance, Dr. Kwesi Jonah Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance, Dr. Kwesi Jonah

A Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Kwesi Jonah, has stated that the level of violence being witnessed at the ongoing voter registration exercise appears to be a dress rehearsal for the December 2020 general elections.

According to Dr Jonah, the violence has taken a unique twist because they are being orchestrated by Ministers, MPs and aspiring MPs of the ruling government which he describes as worrying.

“Ghana is not making progress at all in this politically related violence especially with the kind of violence that has characterised this voter registration exercise,” Dr Jonah said on Starr FM’s Analyses programme on Saturday.

He added “we wanted to stop this exercise…there were those who wanted the registration and some who did not want it and it was expected that if there was going to be some violence it will come from the side who did not want it [but] it is precisely those who wanted it who are the ones causing it.

“What is new is that those leading it [violence] are highly placed people, ministers, MPs and party people…what is frightening is that it is not isolated, it is becoming a pattern…all the people leading are MPs, or ministers and it is very worrying and it is regrettable and it looks like a dress rehearsal of what we are going to see in December.”

Dr Jonah’s comments come a day after the Central Regional Police Command retrieved the weapon allegedly fired by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu Senya East, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, at the Steps to Christ Registration Centre.

The police also retrieved the licence covering the weapon when she reported herself to the Central Regional Commander in Cape Coast in the company of her lawyers.

The MP, who is also the Minister for Special Development Initiatives, was invited for questioning by the Central Regional branch of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.

According to the Director of the Police Public Affairs Directorate, Superintendent Mrs Sheila Abayie-Buckman, after questioning Mrs Koomson in the presence of her lawyers, the police also took her through an earlier statement she had given to the police on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

The MP had admitted to firing shots at a voters registration centre in her constituency on Monday, July 20, 2020 “to protect herself”.

In a television interview, she had said she fired “warning shots” because “there were no police around”.

She said she went to the centre after receiving information that people from outside the constituency had been bussed there to register as voters.

According to her, she had received the information last Thursday and decided to visit the registration centre on Monday morning.

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