Undoubtedly, the smooth transition from military rule and series of unproductive and counter coups, to constitutional government has paid dividend and enriched the country’s democracy.
Indeed, Ghana is being described as a beacon of peaceful democratic state in a rather fragile West Africa sub-region which had been plagued by civil strives and now terrorist attacks.
We have had smooth transfer of power from one government to the other, as a result of peaceful elections largely described as free and fair over the years.
We doff our hats off for the Electoral Commission (EC) for conducting successive elections, although the Ghanaian Times admits there is much room for improvement.
In spite of the peace and stability, the democratic journey has also come with challenges, especially during election years.
The political parties use demonstrations, boycotts and filibustering, in the case of Parliamentary proceedings to register their displeasure about certain policies and government businesses.
These are all democratic rights as approved by the constitution to help people who hold variant positions to voice their disagreement and help shape government policies and decision.
These are very useful to our democratic culture, especially when they are manifested in a peacefully manner devoid of intimidation and violence.
No doubt, this year being an election year; our political tolerance and our democratic credential will be put to test again.
Already, some political parties have served notices to employ their legitimate means guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution, to register their displeasure about some governance issues, all to deepen our democratic culture and good governance.
One of such in the year is the demonstration by some political parties over the EC’s decision to compile a new register for the general election.
While the EC says it has the right to periodically compile new voters register for the purpose of conducting a free, fair and credible election, others doubt the fairness and the timing of the exercise.
We support the EC to conduct, its work through its Inter Party Advisory Committee which is still very active.
Besides, the EC has established another working mechanism involving highly reputable and respectable personalities in society.
It is our conviction that all these mechanisms would help the EC to conduct very credible and fair elections which final result would reflect the wishes of Ghanaians.
We commend the organisers for the largely peaceful nature of the demonstration. Equally we commend the security services, especially the Ghana Police Service for providing security to ensure the peaceful demonstration and that the demonstrators did not infringe on the rights of other members of the public.
Political violence and intimidation have no place in civilised and democratic governance. Indeed, they do not win elections. It is our fervent hope and prayer that these demonstration would continue in a very peaceful manner devoid of any intimidation and harassment.
It is likely that in election year, trade unions, other aggrieved workers and professionals who are idling at home without jobs, would like to take advantage of the year to press home their grievances through similar actions.
In pursuing these legitimate rights, however, it behooves us not to raise the political temperature to unbearable levels.
Let us put Ghana first; and the national interest is that of peace, security and stability. Generations would not forgive us, if we leave this country worse than we came to meet it.
Source: Ghanaian Times
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