Enforcement Body Slams NDC, NPP
The National Enforcement Body of the 2012 Political Parties Code of Conduct has observed with regret, the actions and inactions of the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party in the ongoing biometric voters registration exercise which contravene some provisions of the 2012 Political Parties Code of Conduct.
The two political parties, the NDC and the NPP, had representatives who assented to the code and its provisions at a workshop held at Aburi on the August 21, 2011.
At the workshop, all political parties including the NDC and the NPP agreed to demonstrate commitment to the enforcement and implementation of the code by educating their members and supporters on the provisions in the code as well as disowning those who breach any of the provisions.
The body, which was established by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) with the approval of the political parties, is mandated to monitor the conduct of the political parties and their supporters to ensure that they behave in the manner that is expected of them as enshrined in the Political Parties Code of Conduct 2012.
At its maiden meeting facilitated by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) last Monday, the enforcement body reviewed media reports on incidents of violence and noted that since the commencement of the biometric voters registration exercise, there had been some instances of hate speech, inciteful statements, abuse of women and perpetuating of violence on children, which have involved the use of offensive weapons. These were mostly done by members of the NPP and NDC.
According to the signed statement, supporters and leaders of the political parties had been engaged in inciting violence using hate speech and statements, as well as accusations and counter-accusations. It also observed that instances of violence and clashes were resulted from the registration of minors, aliens or non-residents.
Unfortunately, the body was of the view that media reportage and discussions had exacerbated the political atmosphere.
In all of this, it also said, the credibility of the security agencies had been questioned by both parties, going by the recent complaints by both the NDC and NPP camps about the police.
This situation is worrying, considering that these security agencies were supposed to gain the trust of the people in the enforcement of law and order.
The National Enforcement Body noted that the actions of the NDC and NPP contravened the provisions of the Political Parties Code of Conduct 2012 that fall under the sections of Democratic Imperatives and Out-of- Campaign Activities on pages 4 and 8 of the code.
According to the Democratic Imperatives, political parties and candidates shall publicly and without reservation condemn all forms of intimidation and political violence irrespective of the perpetrators. Accordingly, all political parties renounce violence and pledge not to indulge in violence and intimidation of any kind.
It also added that political parties and candidates shall at all times avoid defamatory, inflammatory and foul language. Provocative, derogatory and insulting attacks on other parties, personalities, and ethnic and religious groupings by way of communication, verbal or non-verbal, shall also be avoided at all times.
Regarding Out–of-Campaign Activities, political parties are expected to desist from the use of inflammatory language, heightening of ethnic and other tensions, personal attacks and acts of violence either directly by themselves, through leaders, assigns, members, representatives, agents and privies or by proxies.
Furthermore, during registration exercises, party agents may initiate protests and complaints only within such formats and channels as prescribed by the relevant electoral laws, rules and regulations.
The enforcement body pointed out it appeared that the NDC and the NPP have not fulfilled their pledge as their supporters and members behave contrary to the provisions that their party representatives assented to. However the body placed on record the responsible behaviour of the other parties in respect of the Code.
As a result of the identified breaches of the Code, the National Enforcement Body is reminding political parties especially the NDC and the NPP that the roots of a thriving democracy are to be found in peace, stability, law and order as well as compliance by all stakeholders with well-defined electoral laws and codes.
The Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante, who is the chairman of the body, and the following people: Mr Justice Emil Short, Ameer Dr Maulvi Wahab Adam, Mr David Kanga, Mrs Augustina Akumanyi, Mr Ransford Tetteh, Mr Paul Manly Awuni, Fr Patrick M. Amos, Brigadier General Francis K. Agyemfra, Ms Hilary Gbedemah, Mr Danny Annan, Mr Atik Mohammed, Mr Abdulai Fulamba, Mr Kwame Jantuaha and Mr William Doworkpor signed the statement by government’s admission of the failed project.