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10.10.2008 Politics

Restrain your party supports from using firearms - EU appeals

By GNA

Ambassadors of the European Union (EU) in Ghana, have urged political party flagbearers and their parliamentary candidates to restrain their supporters from engaging in violent acts, especially with the use of firearms as nation prepares for the December 7, election.

The EU also called on political parties to discuss with the police the best way to reduce the number of illegal firearms in circulation, especially in the Northern Region.

The eight-member EU delegation, made the call at a press conference in Tamale on Thursday, after completing a two-day mission for peaceful elections in the Northern Region.

Members of the delegation were Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, Head of the EU in Ghana, Mr Francis Hurtut, the French Ambassador, Miroslav Krenek, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Julia Olmo, Spanish Ambassador and Hans Christian Winkler, Counsellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The EU delegation, as part of its mission to the region, met and interacted with political party representatives, traditional and religious leaders, and civil society groups. They also visited some polling stations in the region.

The delegation said it was pleased to note that all parties recognized that fraud and violence would be detrimental to the electoral process as well as the image and interest of Ghana.

It, therefore, called for the successful cleaning of the voters' register to the satisfaction of all stakeholders saying that an irreproachable registration was one of the most important conditions for uncontested results after elections.

The EU said it was prudent that political parties send their representatives to the various polling stations for the ongoing voter's register cleaning exercise.

It said, in spite of, which party won the December election, Ghana had demonstrated that it was a real democratic state where both the majority and the minority had crucial roles to play.

“We acknowledge the deep need for justice expressed in many occasions by our interlocutors, and rules must be applied impartially to everyone and anybody but contestants must start from the principal that the opponent is talking in good faith in a spirit of mutual respect”, the EU members said.

The ambassadors said their main objective was to support Ghana in having a peaceful and transparent electoral process and noted that this was also the wish of all the stakeholders they had interacted with and who had called for an EU electoral observation mission.

“We do hope that Ghana will use for the best of its interest this new opportunity to offer to Europe and the international community the image of a mature and stable country with not only exceptional human and natural resources but a sound democracy”, the EU said.

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