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General News of Thursday, 23 August 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Vigilantism dangerous for Ghana’s democracy – Afari-Gyan

Ghana’s former electoral commission chairperson Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan has bemoaned vigilantism in Ghana’s politics.

In his view, vigilantism and money politics, have the tendency to undermine the nation’s democracy.

Party vigilantism has surged since the NPP won power in 2016. Many youth groups associated with the party have stormed and seized state facilities over one concern or the other. Two weeks ago, Kandahar boys, one of such groups, invaded the Tamale Teaching Hospital and asked the Chief Executive of the facility to pack out.

Speaking at a dialogue event in Accra, Dr. Afari Gyan said such practices including lofty promises by politicians must be checked in order to safeguard Ghana’s democracy.

“I think ways must be found to restrict the role of money in elections. It is now common knowledge all over the world that unbridled use of money in elections makes it possible for [people with money], irrespective of the sources of their money, to hijack the electoral process to the detriment of genuine electoral competition.

“Again it is becoming the norm for our politicians to make many promises in their election campaign. Those promises can easily become millstones around the politician’s neck.

“Finally, the rise of vigilantism in the political landscape is not a healthy development for the conduct of free and fair elections nor for the politicians themselves,” he said.

Dr. Afari-Gyan was in charge of Ghana’s electoral commission until July 2015 when he retired.