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17.04.2012 Editorial

Sanity Must Prevail

By Daily Graphic
Sanity Must Prevail
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When the second phase of the biometric voters registration exercise began on April 4, this year, we had cause to believe that the incidents of violence and disruptions that characterised the first phase would cease.

But, to the angst of Ghanaians, those anti-democratic tendencies have been intensified. We have had reports about the firing of gunshots, wielding of offensive implements and deliberate acts to disrupt the exercise.

Last Thursday, President J. E. A. Mills reminded Ghanaians of the need to protect the integrity of the process and allow all eligible voters to register and exercise their franchise during the elections.

He capped that up on Easter Sunday when he underscored the need for Ghanaians not to take the stability of the nation for granted.

The Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, added his voice to that call by asking political parties to place the national interest above their personal quest for political power.

He said beyond politics, we were brothers and sisters, for which reason we must guard our utterances and actions to promote peace and development in the country.

Recent happenings in Mali and their attendant consequences; the events in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya are not issues that peace loving people would want replicated in their home countries.

Senegal has again shown that if we allow due processes to work, there will always be peace. The Senegal experience also demonstrates that no one can impose himself or herself on the people against the will of the people.

The Daily Graphic is, however, astonished by the repeated incidents of violence, disruptions and chaos that have characterised the registration exercise so far, especially when there are clear-cut rules and regulations guiding the exercise.

We believe all those engaged in the exercise need to be conversant with the rules and regulations, while the people engaged by the Electoral Commission (EC) must themselves apply the rules accordingly. If they are in doubt, they must seek clearance from the EC.

It appears most of the confusion is as a result of the lack of knowledge of the rules and regulations governing the exercise or a deliberate attempt to de-franchise some sections of society.

We cannot claim to be democratic if we do not want the will of the people to prevail and rather want to impose our authority on them. What do we seek to gain by preventing eligible persons from registering?

What is disheartening is the fact that the disturbances continue to occur, in spite of admonition by stakeholders and assurances from political party activists not to disturb the peace.

We need no reminder that Ghana is seen as a model democratic order on a continent plagued by conflicts, coup d’etats, among other challenges. We need not lose sight of the fact that it is this democratic credential that has brought in a lot of investments and acknowledgements on the global stage.

The recently inaugurated George Walker Bush Highway is a typical example of the good things Ghanaians are enjoying for choosing the path of peace and democracy.

Ghana has come far in its quest for development and we believe we must all sustain this path by sustaining the peace and stability that we are enjoying.

We should guard the democratic process by allowing all eligible voters to register, so that they can exercise their voting rights in the December 2012 polls.

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