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Politics of Friday, 4 July 2008

Source: GNA

Violence in primaries could threaten peace- Kangah

Accra, July 4, GNA - Mr. David Kangah, Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) in-charge of Operations on Friday observed that the minor violent incidents that characterized the primaries of some political parties have the potential to disrupt the peace of the country.

"All political parties must endeavour to educate party faithful at the local levels to exercise maximum tolerance".

Speaking at a symposium organised by the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP) on the theme: Consolidating the Peace in Ghana Through Elections 2008, Mr. Kangah said elections still remained a determinant for peace and stability in every country and called on Ghanaians to maintain the peace during, before and after this year's general election.

"Ghanaians must work hard to ensure that elections both at the constituency and the national level do not become a factor of for violence to infringe the peace of the nation", Mr. Kangah said He called for community participation in the electoral process and pragmatic measures to guard against possible violence. Speaking on the Role of Peace Education towards Non-Violence in Election 2008, Mr. Kwaku Baa Owusu, Director of Public Education of the National Commission for Civic Education also attributed causes of electoral violence to ignorance of the law, mischief, misinformation, prejudice, discontent and mistrust.

He indicated that there was therefore the need for education to enlighten the people to enable them to analyse issues for themselves. Mr Owusu called for the support of traditional authorities, religious groups, media and civil society to preserve the peace. Nana Obiri Boahene, Minister of State at the Ministry of the Interior attributed electoral violence in Africa to lack of political tolerance, hence the need to prepare adequately during and after the elections. He also advised the media to avoid over sensationalism and be fair in their reportage and urged the judiciary to also ensure fair arbitration on electoral disputes.

The Minister further pledged that government would provide security services with the needed logistics and called on the public to provide the Police with any relevant information which would facilitate their operations. 4 July 04