EDITORIAL: Towards Peaceful Transition
6/7/2012 1:01:16 PM -
In 1992, Ghanaians committed themselves to the path of democracy by deciding to choose their own leaders through the participatory governance system.
In the process, Ghana has attained enviable democratic credentials for the successful manner in which it conducts its elections, culminating in two transitions of power from one political party in power to another.
But it is a fact that these 19 years of democratic governance has also been marked by some level of acrimony in the body politic, compelling some of the people to feel that the nation is at war with itself. That is so because of vitriolic attacks, lack of civility in the political discourse and the high level of intolerance among political actors.
The chaotic events in 2001 and 2009 after the tension-filled general elections of those years readily come to mind. The difficulties that characterised the transfer of power from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2001 and vice versa in 2009 are things that no Ghanaian would want to be repeated in our democracy.
graphic.com.gh believes that the chaotic transfer of power in the past might have convinced many Ghanaians across the political divide to openly support the Presidential Transition Bill initiated by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in 2007 to ensure the smooth transfer of power from a sitting President to an incoming President after elections.
We are particularly happy with the provisions of the act, such as the registration of the assets of Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Ministers of State; Institutional Clarity, which deals with the taking of inventory of state assets, and the Structured Time Frame, which specifies the period within which a transition team is to be formed and the time for the swearing in of the Speaker, Members of Parliament and the President.
graphic.com.gh thinks that if we abide by the provisions of the act, we will never witness the chaotic scenes and events of 2001 and 2009 again.
But we think that the country still has a long way to go in its democracy march.
A political contest is about the choices political parties offer the electorate through the issues they promise to deliver, not who can insult best. But our politics seems to be appreciated more by the insults and unwarranted attacks on our opponents.
That is why we agree with the call by the Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, that Ghanaians must shun the acrimony and vitriolic attacks that had characterised our political discourse.
We wish to remind Ghanaians that democracy thrives best in peaceful and stable environments and that it is in such peaceful environments that our collective efforts can help build the country.
It is regrettable that our society has become so polarised and divided, not only along political lines but also ethnic divisions. The situation has deteriorated to a level that decent people and institutions shy away from commenting on national issues because of the level of fanaticism and intolerance that has become the hallmark of our politics.
Graphic believes that Ghanaians must give meaning to the Presidential Transition Act by committing themselves to deepen the democratic process by engaging in decent politics.
In that way, we will rise above partisanship, insults and violence that seem to be taking root in the conduct of national affairs.