Ahead of the December 7, 2020 elections, the presidential candidates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and former President John Dramani Mahama, respectively, will sign a Presidential Elections Peace Pact (PEPP) on December 3, 2020.
To be signed on the theme: “Eradicating vigilantism: The role of political parties”, the signatories will commit to non-violence, the resort to judicial process to seek redress in case of disputes and work towards eradicating vigilantism.
This follows elaborate consultations and a commitment by the two presidential candidates to sign the PEPP.
The Graphic Communications Group Limited and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation are the media partners for the programme.
Peace pacts were signed before the 2012 and the 2016 elections, and the signatories committed themselves to working together to tackle electoral violence, impunity and injustice.
However, it was the 2016 peace pact that triggered the implementation of the 2020 commitment regarding the eradication of vigilantism.
It was in response to the vigilante violence in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in January 2019, after which President Akufo-Addo, the NPP and the NDC demonstrated political leadership and concerted action to tackle the menace of vigilante violence in the country.
That commitment resulted in the passage of the Vigilante and Related Offences Act, 2019 (Act 999) and the subsequent adoption of the code of conduct and road map against vigilante violence by the National Peace Council (NPC).
The 2020 PEPP follows the NPC-facilitated dialogue on eradicating vigilante violence which led to the NPP and the NDC adopting the code of conduct and the road map for eradicating vigilante violence in Ghana.
This PEPP is being convened by the Office of the National Chief Imam, the NPC, the National House of Chiefs and the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG).
The Executive Director of the IDEG, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the objective of the high-level meeting (HLM) which would precede the signing of the PEPP was to convene national leaders who, as peers, would deliberate on the threat of electoral violence to the peace, security and welfare of the whole country.
He said the signing of the PEPP would serve as an instrument for political leaders to demonstrate integrity and a commitment to pursue the path of justice in electoral disputes and avoid electoral violence.
In the pact, Dr Akwetey said, the signatories would also commit themselves to working collectively to eradicate electoral violence, impunity and injustice and consolidating peace and democratic stability in Ghana.
In 2012, the first PEPP was signed in Kumasi, dubbed: “Declaration against electoral violence, impunity and injustice”, which was subsequently renamed the Kumasi Peace Pact.
The second PEPP was signed in Accra in 2016 on the theme: “Strengthening Ghana’s democratic stability, peace and unity”.
That PEPP provided a platform for the political parties and their presidential candidates to re-affirm their commitment to the Kumasi Peace Pact and promote the adoption of a road map to sustain post-election political dialogue and consensus on strategic reforms vital to strengthening Ghana’s democratic stability, peace and unity.