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Develop strategies to defuse new register tensions

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The African Center for Women in Politics (ACWP) has asked civic, moral and intellectual groups in the country to come up with strategies on how to defuse the new voters’ register-induced tensions in the country.

ACWP made the call in a statement on the backdrop of the mixed reactions that have greeted the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new register of the 2020 general elections.

Whereas the EC is bent on compiling the register backed by the governing New Patriotic Party, the opposition National Democratic Congress and other political parties have vowed to use every means possible to stop the exercise from happening.

Several platforms aimed at resolving the stalemate have proved futile.

According to ACWP, “the ongoing banter and media war between the Commission and some of its major stakeholders is a scar on our otherwise fledging democracy.”

“It is obvious that the trust and goodwill that existed between the Electoral Commission and the political parties is fast fading and an urgent intervention is needed to avert a slide of our nation into civil conflict. It is against this background that ACWP is appealing to eminent, moral, civic, and intellectual voices such as the Catholic Bishops Conference, the National House of Chiefs, the former presidents, the Christian Council of Ghana, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), the Institute of Democracy and Development (IDEG), the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Ghana (CVCG), the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), etc. to as a matter of urgency, workout a mediatory strategy to help diffuse the tensions and restore confidence and trust in the electoral process,” ACWP urged in a statement.

Read the full statement below:

New Voters Register: Moral, Civic, and Intellectual Voices must Intervene to break the deadlock – African Center for Women in Politics (ACWP)

The African Center for Women in Politics (ACWP) has noted with a deep worry the current deadlock between the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Ghana and some political parties on the issue of voters register for the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. We are particularly concerned because the Electoral Commission has over the years earned an enviable reputation as an institution that prioritizes deliberative decision making and consensus-building. The ongoing banter and media war between the Commission and some of its major stakeholders is a scar on our otherwise fledging democracy.

It is obvious that the trust and goodwill that existed between the Electoral Commission and the political parties is fast fading and an urgent intervention is needed to avert a slide of our nation into civil conflict. It is against this background that ACWP is appealing to eminent, moral, civic, and intellectual voices such as the Catholic Bishops Conference, the National House of Chiefs, the former presidents, the Christian Council of Ghana, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), the Institute of Democracy and Development (IDEG), the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Ghana (CVCG), the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), etc. to as a matter of urgency, workout a mediatory strategy to help diffuse the tensions and restore confidence and trust in the electoral process.

While recognizing the independence of the Electoral Commission, it is important to note that as a state institution, the Commission has a responsibility to operate in a manner that earns the confidence of all the citizenry. Elections have visited conflicts upon several nations including some in our sub-region, and the situation in Ghana presently has all the trappings of a country on the brink of chaos. It is common knowledge that in a conflict situation, women and children are not only the most vulnerable but the victims. It is against this knowledge of experience from other jurisdictions that we are urging the Electoral Commission to be alive to the enormity of the responsibility it shoulders, and carry the nation with it to peace and not conflict.

In the meantime, we call on the political parties and the other stakeholders opposed to the Commission’s decision to compile a new voters’ register to moderate their activism and mobilization and commit to any efforts designed to end the stalemate to pave the way for constructive dialogue. For as long as there is an opportunity to engage in constructive deliberations, we urge the EC and the political parties to seize the moment and allow final outcomes to be produced from the deliberative processes.

It is only in a deliberation process that the various stakeholders can speak and listen to each other in respect and candour and develop a collective decision in the spirit of compromise and consensus. It goes without saying that it is in the interest of our country that we all work towards a free, fair and transparent elections come December 7, 2020.

Thank you.

Signed
Alimatu Issahak
Executive Director

Eunice Yogri, PhD
Head, Gender and Policy

Beryl Efua Abban
Ag. Head, Political Desk

 

 

 

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