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29.03.2008 Editorial

Let’s Remain Vigilant

By Daily Guide
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We cannot agree more with the Electoral Commission (EC) that the surest way to ensure free and fair elections in the country is for Ghanaians themselves to remain vigilant through all stages of the electoral process.

Indeed, it is human beings that rig and commit all kinds of electoral fraud during elections. If, therefore, people would be vigilant, those fraudulent acts could be forestalled.

Vigilance can start from the registration stage, where under-aged or other unqualified persons manage to register. Where there is vigilance, fraudulent registration deals could be detected before any damage is caused in elections.

Political party agents, civil society organizations, religious bodies, youth organizations, and indeed, independent observers could form a solid group of vigilantes whose work could guarantee a free and fair election in December and during subsequent elections.

Any of those groups, especially political party agents, which neglects these important duties would live to regret it for at least four years, because if they fail to open their eyes wide, it could impact negatively on their political parties.

Their failure would not impact negatively on their parties alone; it could as well go to hurt the future wellbeing of the country because victory would be handed over to individuals and groups who are not the popular choices of the people.

The failure of people to be vigilant during elections has caused bloodshed in some parts of the world. The recent incident was in Kenya, where many people lost their lives because of alleged rigging of elections.

The assurance of free and fair election could avert a lot of troubles in a country. Wherever there is clean election, both the winner and loser are satisfied with the results. But where there is doubt as to who won the election genuinely, then there is dissatisfaction among the losers, who could go to all extents to claim victory for themselves.

That claim could take any form; either demonstrations or even military coup d'état to cause unrest in the country.

The staff of the commission would not be enough to cover all the polling stations in the country. But with a vigilant society, much could be achieved during elections.

However, it would be necessary for political party agents to equip themselves well with electoral laws and regulations to enable them challenge suspected unqualified persons at the polls.

Enthusiasm alone would not be enough to cause somebody to be vigilant during elections. The polling agents must be sufficiently equipped to challenge suspects whenever it becomes necessary.

DAILY GUIDE wishes to advise the Electoral Commission that no amount of money would be too much for educating polling agents to become vigilant.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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