A FORMER Justice of the Supreme Court and Professor of Law, Justice A. K. P Kludze
has expressed confidence in the nine justices of the Supreme Court to dispense justice fairly in the ongoing hearing of the landmark electionpetition.
He said the Supreme Court is conscious of the responsibility it holds for the future advancement of the nation and would therefore act in accordance with the statues of the law. 'Almost needless to say, I believe that the Supreme Court itself is not unmindful of the enormity of the responsibility it bears for the future development and stability of this nation.
I believe that the court will discharge this responsibility fairly, fairly, no matter whose ox is gored,' he said. Justice Kludze therefore urged the parties involved to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court at the end of the case.
He said the parties and the public alike should remain tolerant and patient and accept the verdict with equanimity. 'Unless we accept and abide by the decision of the Supreme Court, we inevitably unleash chaos and violence on ourselves and ongoing generations yet to come,' he said. Justice Kludze noted that whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, the country cannot see progress unless citizens learn to tolerate each other's divergent views. He said democracy requires competition in the market place of ideas and not vituperation and physical attacks on the streets. He added that the political parties are not military brigades or combatant military units but organizations with similar programmes working and competing to improve Ghana to guarantee the progress of the nation. 'We must try to let democracy work for us. It has worked reasonably well in other countries.
Through education and leadership by example we can let democracy flourish in Ghana,' he said. Justice Kludze made this known yesterday in Accra at an IEA roundtable on the theme: 'Post-electoral Dispute Resolution: Fostering Peace, National Cohesion and Reconciliation after the Supreme Court Ruling.' He spoke on the topic: 'Political parties as agents of national cohesion and reconciliation - the dos and don'ts in the aftermath of the Supreme Court Ruling.' Kwesi Jonah, a lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, touched on 'the role of civil society in ensuring peace and security in the aftermath of the election dispute resolution i.e. media, religious bodies, etc.' He argued that whatever the ruling of the Supreme Court, the country should learn from the outcome and strengthen its electoral system.
Brigadier General Agemfra, chairman for the occasion, in a welcome address, noted that even though a solid foundation for democratic rule had been laid, the road has not been smooth. 'For although the tradition of acceding power democratically is increasingly taking root, a matter of great concern in recent times is the extreme political polarization of the country.' He commented: 'Unfortunately, however, the case has generated animosity and acrimony between the leaders and supporters of the two main political parties, the New Patriotic Party and the ruling National Democratic Congress and discussions on the issues have not been on the front burner of national discussions. Fortunately, both the leaders of the NPP and the NDC have indicated their intention to accept the results.' He was of the opinion that IEA's timely discussion and action on the sensitive issue
would go a long way to promote peace and national cohesion in Ghana.
BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri