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General News of Thursday, 20 December 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Stop street demonstrations - Appiah Menka tells NPP

An elder of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Akenten Appiah-Menka, has advised party supporters to stop the street demonstrations and rather encourage the party leadership to pursue the intended Supreme Court action to challenge the results of the December 7 elections.

While stressing that the demonstrations were not necessary, since they could not change the results of the elections as announced by the Electoral Commission (EC), he pointed out that “the right of the NPP to go to the Supreme Court, rather than the route for blood to flow in the streets, must be respected by all who believe in multi-party democracy and the rule of law”.

“Happily, we have President Mahama and his vice, as well as Nana Akufo-Addo and his running mate, all of whom believe in the national Constitution, the rule of law and the supremacy of the Supreme Court, rather than the flow of blood, because one party is dissatisfied with election results,” he said.

The octogenarian politician, lawyer and industrialist said this in a statement to the Daily Graphic in Kumasi in response to enquiries made by the newspaper on his impressions on the recent demonstrations by the NPP, of which he is a founder member, over alleged fraud in the general election.

He said it was a plus for Ghana that, in the face of electoral challenges, an aggrieved party did not choose war but rather the legal process to fight its case.

Mr Appiah-Menka observed that in some sister ECOWAS countries and many parts of Africa, election results tended to ignite “shameful explosives” that led to loss of human lives and collapsed economies.

“Happily in Ghana, there is the Constitution, which has in-built mechanisms to control these explosives after national elections, no matter one’s perception of the results.

“The rule of law and the multi-party democratic system which protect us all as one nation, one people, one thumbprint and one Constitution must be strengthened,” he added.

In doing so, Mr Appiah-Menka said, the resort to the courts to fight one’s case should not be condemned but rather encouraged.

He challenged the leadership of political parties, particularly the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NPP, to control their followers from engaging in provocative utterances and actions after the Supreme Court judgement that could lead to a response from their opponents.

He also mentioned three “shameful and explosive evils” that were gradually and visibly becoming a norm in the last few years of the Fourth Republic.

Those evils, he said, were massive corruption at all levels of national life, naked tribalism and political-party polarisation of national issues.

“Unless the nation takes bold steps to address them, very soon we shall all behave like George Orwell’s Animal Farm in which, in the end, the animals outside looked from man to pigs and from pigs to man and from man to pigs again but it was impossible to find which was which,” he added.