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Politics of Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Source: GNA

Seizure of offices threaten democratic credentials - IDEG

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), has observed that Ghana’s democratic credentials would be eroded if some people engaged in seizing offices of state institutions are not cautioned to stop.

Mr Daniel Akanyani Abambilla, the Regional Coordinator of IDEG in-charge of the Upper East Region said this at the ‘2016 Post –Election Evaluation’ workshop organised in Bolgatanga.

He called on the Office of the President to stop the NPP supporters who were engaged in the negative act so that it did not spill over to cover the entire country.

“Ghana has successfully organised seven elections with the just ended one being the most peaceful and commended by the international community and West Africa. We must therefore jealously guard against any trouble that will undermine this tremendous gains chalked by the country,” the Regional Coordinator said.

Mr Abambilla said it did not augur well for democracy if new governments victimised people occupying high positions in state institutions just because of the perception that such persons were not in favour of the new administration.

The forum, organised by IDEG with funding support from Ford Foundation was aimed at assessing the successes, challenges and the way forward after the 2016 elections so as to document such lessons and avoid similar challenges in other future elections.

Mr Kofi Awity, Director of Operations at IDEG, said the NGO, implemented a Project dubbed “Peaceful Election and Inclusive Government (PEIG)”, before and during the 2016 election as a means of contributing to ensuring a peaceful election.

He said as part of the project, IDEG trained and built the capacity of many stakeholders including the affiliates of IDEG in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions to support CODEO to observe the elections as well as worked with stakeholders including the National Commission for Civic Education to organize debates for the electorate to engage Parliamentary aspirants.

Mr Benjamin Danso, Project Officer of IDEG, said he was very happy that the implementation of the project worked perfectly by reducing the general anxiety and fear that characterised a lot of Ghanaians before and during the election and commended all stakeholders that played key roles in ensuring that.

Ms Marain Mahmoud, Consultant of Ford Foundation, PEIG, said the contributions of all the groups including the youth, persons with disabilities, and the security agencies, NCCE, the Election Commission and the Media was good and worth it.

She noted that the successful implementation of the project contributed greatly to the peaceful conduct of the election and stressed the need for the documentation of the 2016 Post –Election Evaluation for the future.

Participants at the forum commended all the stakeholders including the Electoral Commissions, the National Commission for Civic Education, the Security agencies, traditional and religious leaders as well as the media for working hard to ensure peaceful elections.