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15.04.2008 Politics

Parties To Ensure Peace Prevails

Political parties in Ghana pledge to ensure that peace prevails before and during the December elections to enable the electorate to exercise their franchise in peace.

They have also promised to hold peaceful campaigns devoid of insults and abusive language.

Representatives of the four leading parties — National Democratic Congress (NDC), People's National Convention (PNC), Convention People's Party (CPP) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) — made the pledge at a one-day seminar organised for the media in Accra.

They pledged to accept the results in good faith, whether their parties won or lost, but indicated,, that the elections must be free and fair.

They also promised to respect all codes of conduct relating to the elections, educate their followers on the dos and don'ts and live in harmony with one another.

The seminar was organised by the Public Agenda newspaper, in collaboration with the United States Embassy, and it was on the theme, “Media Practice in Ghana and Efforts Towards Peaceful and Non-violent Elections in 2008”.

Mr Henry Asante, who represented the PNC, said peace building took a long time to achieve and so once it had been attained it should be handled with much care and vigilance.
 
He said peace was the total absence of tribal, political and ethnic marginalisation and alienation of conflict and other forms of disagreement that might generate into a major conflict.

He said Ghana had enjoyed maximum peace for some time now and “we cannot afford to lose this peace which has become the envy of other nations”.

Mr Asante indicated that history showed that the PNC had always preached peace and was the first to concede defeat in the 1992 elections and congratulate President Jerry Rawlings, adding that it clearly put to rest any move by the NPP to challenge the results in the three-man race among Rawlings, Kufuor and Mahama.

He said the PNC would commit itself to peace by accepting the views of other parties and that it would campaign genuinely against its opponents.

“We will monitor all processes during the elections and accept the results in good faith, whether we win or lose, provided the elections are free and fair,” he said.

For his part, the NDC representative, Baba Jamal, said his party appreciated the efforts being made to ensure peaceful elections, come December.

He said for elections to be peaceful, the rules and regulations governing them must be respected and all political parties should play to the rules.

Baba Jamal indicated that the NDC wanted Ghana to grow in peace and democracy and would accept the results provided they were free and fair.

He urged the international community not to wait till election time before they sent in monitors but that it should monitor all the processes leading to the elections as well.

Story by Mary Mensah

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