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20 September 2012 | General News

We are not doing politics, we just want peace; Religious group

The Statesman

The Ghana Conference on Religion and Peace (GCRP) says its attempts to find a peaceful resolution to the political impasse with respect to the creation of the 45 new constituencies by the Electoral Commission (EC) is not politically motivated.

The group has come under fire for what others say is a deviation from its core mandate of winning souls for Christ into the arena of politics when its leaders tried to make an intervention in the raging controversy regarding the proposed addition of some 45 new seat to the legislative body.

The GCRP Tuesday met some of the country's political parties, including the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People's Party (CPP) and the People's National Convention (PNC), to deliberate on ways to build consensus on the subject.

The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference, Most Rev Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu explained in an interview on the Super Morning Show Wednesday, that the objective of the meetings and deliberations with the parties was to resolve the differences of the parties on the matter because “some people are not happy with the creation and it might bring problems and so we hope that we will able to find a formula that will bring peace.”

During the meeting Tuesday, Bishop Osei-Bonsu, who is the Co-Convener of the meeting, disclosed that, whilst the parties agreed that it was the EC's mandate to create the new constituencies, majority of them felt the timing was just not right.

The GCRP, he said, intends to invite the EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan next week and believes “[we] will be able to reach a consensus.”

Asked whether the Conference's meetings with the political parties did not amount to interfering with a matter which is already before the courts, he said, “we respect the duties of the Supreme Court,” since they have the ultimate say in the creation of the constituencies, but “we are not contesting the legal side, that is their right but we are looking at the implications of whatever decision they come out with and see how best we can ensure there is peace.”

“We haven't expressed any view, the council hasn't expressed any view for or against, we are trying to bring the two parties together and arrive at some consensus,” Bishop Osei-Bonsu stressed.

While people are free to tag religious leaders as being members of a specific party, he cautioned that, “As a body we haven't expressed any view so they can not accuse us of being for this party or that party.”

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