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19.11.2008 Politics

It`s JAK`s turn to ensure peaceful elections -MEPA

By Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle

THE MOVEMENT for Economic and Political Awareness (MEPA), a Kumasi-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has reminded the President, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, to show commitment to taking his turn in ensuring peaceful elections in December.

In a statement issued in Kumasi on Wednesday, the Movement indicated that past general elections in the country portrayed Ghanaians and their leaders as peace-loving people.

Abdul Wahab Shareef, Vice Chairman of the movement, who signed the statement, said Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Busia and Dr. Hilla Limann were overthrown, but they did not preach violence or incite their supporters to destabilise the country.

It was also said that former President Flt. Lt. J. J. Rawlings ruled the country for almost two decades and handed over power peacefully, without inciting his supporters to cause confusion in the country.

“It is now the turn of President Kufuor to also do same in the interest of peace and tranquility in the country,” MEPA indicated. The movement said it was optimistic that the December elections would be peaceful, because conducting peaceful elections in Ghana was nothing new.

It noted that the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah; the Progress Party (PP) led by Dr. K. A. Busia and the Peoples National Party (PNP) led by Dr. Hilla Limann, as well as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), all came to power through peaceful elections, and that the few cases of violence recorded during or after some of the elections referred to above, were due to the machinations of unscrupulous and self-seeking politicians who exploit existing ends for personal gains.

As a result, MEPA has urged all stakeholders to make concerted efforts to achieve this feat in this all important national exercise, by strictly adhering to the dos and don'ts of free, fair and transparent elections.

“To conduct peaceful elections devoid of violence, rancour and acrimony worthy of emulation, we must endearvour to avoid electoral taboos, and also make sure that others do not have the opportunity to engage in election malpractices like intimidating voters, mudslinging of candidates, multiple voting, and deliberate manipulation of election results,” the movement noted.

It further observed that “no right thinking and honest person will expect an election to be violent-free, if election results are deliberately manipulated in favour of a particular candidate.”

MEPA associated itself with a statement by Mr. Justice V. C. R. A. C. Crabbe, the then Interim Electoral Commissioner on June 24, 1969, saying it did not expect a flawed election that could through violence lead to power-sharing, as it happened somewhere else in Africa.

The movement, therefore, reminded Ghanaians that the exercise (Elections), which we are about to embark upon, is of crucial importance for generations to come.