We must reduce political tension

As the December 7, 2024 general election approaches, Ghana's political landscape is once again fraught with tension and suspicion. 

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Amid this uncertainty, two political scientists, Professor Seidu Alidu and Gilfred Asiamah, have sounded a clarion call for timely communication and inclusiveness to address the information gaps and reduce political tensions.

The Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Alidu, emphasised the need for clarity and transparency in communication to dispel doubts and suspicions among stakeholders.

He stressed that all stakeholders, including security agencies, the Electoral Commission (EC) and political parties, must be accountable and transparent in their dealings. This includes the deployment of personnel and procurement-related matters. According to Professor Alidu, stability and national development should be the ultimate goals of all actions taken.

Echoing similar sentiments, the Teams Lead for Elections at CDD-Ghana, Gilfred Asiamah, highlighted the importance of inclusiveness in various aspects of elections. He noted that providing more information and ensuring inclusiveness could help address the current tension.

Mr Asiamah urged the EC to share information promptly and be responsive to concerns from opposition parties. He also cautioned the opposition to focus on issues of concern and reduce personal attacks on the Chairperson of the EC.

The Daily Graphic is of the view that the call for timely communication and inclusiveness is a great reminder of the need for stakeholders to work together to ensure peaceful and credible elections. 

In a democratic setup, elections are meant to be a competition of ideas and not a fight. Unfortunately, the current political landscape is marred by suspicion, misinformation, and personal attacks. This toxic atmosphere can only be addressed through open and inclusive communication.

The EC, as the electoral management body, has a critical role to play in ensuring the credibility and transparency of the electoral process. By sharing information promptly and being responsive to concerns, the EC can help build trust and confidence among stakeholders. Similarly, political parties must also take responsibility for their actions and focus on issues of concern rather than personal attacks.

Inclusiveness is also critical in ensuring that all stakeholders feel part of the electoral process. This includes providing equal opportunities for all political parties to participate in the electoral process and ensuring that the voices of marginalised groups are heard. That way, we can create an atmosphere of stability and reduce unnecessary tensions.

Our country has consistently been praised for its commitment to democratic values and principles. Since its transition to democracy in 1992, Ghana has held successful elections, with a peaceful transfer of power from one government to another.

This impressive record has earned Ghana the reputation as a model of democracy in Africa. However, as the 2024 election approaches, it is important for the country  to preserve its democratic credentials and continue to uphold the principles of free, fair and credible elections.

Ghanaians have a critical role to play in preserving the country's democratic credentials. By participating in the electoral process, reporting any incidents of violence or intimidation, and demanding accountability from political leaders, citizens can help ensure that the 2024 election is free, fair and credible.

Furthermore, political leaders must eschew violence, intimidation and misinformation, and instead focus on issue-based campaigning and peaceful competition. Ghanaians can make the 2024 election another proud moment for the country by working together.

A successful election will not only consolidate the country’s democratic gains but also serve as an inspiration to other African countries.  Moreover, it will demonstrate to the world that as a people, we are committed to upholding democratic values and principles, and that our democracy is mature and resilient.

Let us work together to preserve our democratic credentials and make the 2024 election a proud moment for all Ghanaians. As Professor Alidu aptly puts it: "The peace of this country should be paramount. We must look beyond the elections, govern and bring development to the people."

This is a reminder that elections are not an end in themselves but a means to an end. The ultimate goal of elections is to ensure good governance and development for all citizens.

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