‘Don’t Deploy Parallel Security, Macho Men In Campaigns’

Politics of Friday, 19 October 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and the National Elections Security Task Force (NESFT) has urged political parties not to create or deploy parallel security or ‘macho men’ in their electoral campaigns and ballot watching activities.

The two organisations implored political parties to publicly condemn and punish errant supporters who commit criminal and electoral offences, using politics as a subterfuge.

This was contained in a communiqué signed by representatives of the two bodies after a two-day workshop in Koforidua.

It was jointly signed by Ambassador Francis Tsegah, Senior Fellow of CDD-Ghana, Mr Eric Angel Carbonu, Advisory Board Member of CODEO and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Patrick Timbilla of the National Election Security Task Force.

The communique proposes that all the presidential candidates must issue a joint statement reiterating their commitment to peace before, during and after the elections. Also, all institutions and individuals must allow the security services to have a free operational hand to enable them carry out their duties without fear or favour.

The communiqué also asked the security services to perform their duties with the highest standards of professionalism and neutrality.

“… Political party executives and their supporters must abide by the provisions of the Public Order Act and the Political parties Code of Conduct insofar as demonstrations, campaigning and assembly are concerned”, it said.

While commending the judiciary for coming out with a Manual on Elections Adjudication, the communiqué advised the judiciary to consider engaging with political parties and their stakeholders on the existing framework for elections adjudication.

This, it said would erode negative perception about the management of election disputes.

It also called on the Electoral Commission to publish the names of electoral offenders and those whose names have been expunged from the Voters’ Register, as soon as possible.

Regarding the media, the communiqué appealed to members of the inky fraternity to remain professional in their reportage and double check their facts in order not to raise unnecessary political tension.