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25.11.2008 Elections

Mills ready to meet NPP… For peace talks

By George Kyei Frimpong - Ghanaian Chronicle

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, has indicated his preparedness to meet executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to discuss how to make the 7th December elections peaceful.

A statement issued on his behalf by NDC Director of Communications, Ms Hanna S. Tetteh, stated that Professor Mills would be prepared to participate in a meeting like the one proposed by the National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic party (NPP).

“Professor Mills welcomes a meeting to discuss matters pertaining to the peaceful conduct of elections, under the auspices of any credible and impartial organisations that can facilitate such a discussion, not only with the NPP, but also with all the political parties that are participating in the December polls,” it stressed.

The press release noted that while awaiting confirmation of the meeting to be held, his expectation was that the leadership of the Ghana Police Service and the security agencies responsible for maintaining law and order on election day, are encouraged to take immediate steps to build public confidence in the institutions under their control, as well as their ability to act as truly impartial law enforcers.

“This is especially necessary, considering the perceived police inaction on the prosecution of those involved in the murders and destruction in Gushiegu. There is also the case where an activist from another party was arrested with several voter identification cards, which he was keeping in his custody in the Ejura Sekyedumase Constituency, and so far, no further action appears to have been taken on the matter. Recently, an NDC activist in Kumasi called “Tapsoba” has complained that the Regional Police Commander had threatened him directly with arrest and detention, for having criticised him on a radio program in Kumasi,” it reiterated.

It elaborated that the lack of confidence in the police in the public mind, cast doubts on their ability to protect the peace in the event of any disturbance on election day, notwithstanding their heavily publicised training activities.

The release further noted that it was the expectation of Prof. Mills that, “all parties come to the discussion and meeting in good faith, determined to do what was necessary to overcome any lingering feelings of suspicion or mistrust, and putting the national interest above any partisan interest.”

It maintained that the NDC would lead Ghana in the right direction, and would surely contribute their quota to building a peaceful, stable and better Ghana.

It clarified that the NDC had behaved responsibly as a political party, and had made proposals for building the peace before the elections, well in advance of the NPP's belated call for a meeting, to discuss the peaceful conduct of elections.

It continued that the NDC had previously sent proposals to the National Peace Council for ensuring a peaceful, free and fair election.

It elaborated that Professor Mills maintained the NDC's consistent commitment to the building of the democratic culture in our country, as the NDC peacefully handed over power to the NPP after the 2000 elections, without any violence.