Government Will Ensure Peaceful Elections – Mumuni
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, has stated that government is committed to ensuring free and fair general elections in the country.
He said the Electoral Commission (EC), through government's support, was taking all the necessary steps to ensure peaceful elections come December.
'As part of the preparations, the Electoral Commission is in the process of compiling a biometric voters' register,' he said.
The minister made the pronouncement at the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop themed, 'The West African Region: Between Peace Dividends and the road to recovery.'
It is being organized by the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre in collaboration with the Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF).
The workshop is aimed at sharing specific lessons and experiences on past and recent political developments in selected West African countries and discussing pertinent issues relating to security threats in the sub-region.
The sector minister said ensuring a peaceful, free and fair election is key to ensuring that Ghana's democratic credentials continue to stand tall in the sub-region.
Speaking on the essence of the workshop, Alhaji Mumuni said challenges such as illicit drug trafficking, piracy, corruption, election related violence and unconstitutional changes could erode peace and stability if they are not adequately tackled.
'It is imperative to take into account a comprehensive strategy of conflict resolution and crisis prevention while at the same time addressing cross-border issues and regional challenges to peace and security,' he said.
James Victor Gbeho, president of the ECOWAS Commission, said the sub-regional body seeks to contextualize the debate within its Vision 2020 framework, adding, 'It seeks to transform the region from 'an ECOWAS of States into an ECOWAS of people.'
Hon. Gbeho said that since its creation ECOWAS has promoted human security by fostering a peaceful regional environment.
He said that thanks to the ECOWAS conflict management tools the West African region has become more peaceful and stable.
Victor Gbeho said 'the effective application of the principle of zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means led to the restoration of constitutional rule or constitutional legality in Member States including Guinea Bissau, Togo, Guinea, Benin, Niger and most recently in Cote d'Ivoire.'
According to him, these efforts have promoted peace among member states of the community.
The commandant, Air Vice Marshall Christian Kobla Dovlo, said that the workshop forms part of efforts to bring policy makers, experts, researchers and analysts in the sub-region together to discuss matters which are crucial for the growth and prosperity of the region.
He said the three-day workshop will focus on challenges to democratic governance and peace building process in West Africa by taking stock of recent political developments and the democratic process in the region.
By Mary Asabea Ansah