National Electoral Response Group launched to control violent threats

WANEP and NPC present initiative to combat election-related violence
WANEP and NPC present initiative to combat election-related violence

The West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the National Peace Council (NPC) have launched a National Electoral Response Group (NERG) to monitor and promote violence-free elections.

The Group, consisting of civil society organizations, political parties, non-governmental organizations, development partners, institutions and eminent persons, would establish, among other functions, a situation room to monitor and address violent threats in the upcoming presidential elections and parliamentarians.

The Executive Director of WANEP, Dr. Chukwuemeka Eze, in a speech read on his behalf, said that over the years, West Africa had witnessed new threat vectors and unconventional intersectionality associated with electoral processes and undermined democratic processes in the region.

Additionally, election-related violence has fractured communities and caused significant damage to infrastructure and loss of life.

At the center of the challenges, he said, was the upward trajectory of distrust between political actors, between institutions and between citizens and the State, which had been fueled by both the realities and perceptions of an increasingly deepening culture. of politicization and lack of transparency.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NPC, Dr. Ernest Adu Gyamfi, said the Global Peace Index since 2019 had ranked Ghana as the most peaceful country in the West African sub-region, except in 2023 when the country lost that position before Sierra Leone.

“This should remind us all of the need to jealously guard the peace and our peaceful coexistence in the upcoming general elections,” he said.

He said NERG would hold working sessions to discuss early warning reports to be submitted to it by WANEP-Ghana based on data received from the monitors.

Dr. Gyamfi implored political parties to express their views on national issues with decorum, while providing practical solutions to the many challenges they face and to refrain from hate speech and tribal politics.

For his part, Vice President of Operations of the Electoral Commission (EC), Samuel Tettey, said that the EC was committed to its principle of transparency, integrity and fairness as part of efforts to mitigate electoral violence.

The EC, he said, was naturally inclined to support any initiative that created an enabling environment for electoral and political progress.

Therefore, he praised WANEP, NPC, EU and other partners for the electoral violence monitoring analysis and mitigation project.

A representative of ECOWAS, Ebenezer Ofosu Asiedu, commended the organizers for upholding the principles of participatory democracy with the sole objective of ensuring the maintenance of peace and stability in Ghana and the region at large.

The event, he said, was timely as it took place at a time when West African peace was being tested.

“We are all aware that elections, when not managed well, lead to disputes. The region recently witnessed coups and coup attempts, resulting from unresolved disagreements in the elections. For this reason, electoral organizations have been a cause of concern.

“Therefore, we consider the meeting to be appropriate and timely and remind us of the need to maintain vigilance and protect the peace and stability of the nation,” he added.

WANEP Regional Research and Capacity Building Coordinator Dr. Festus Kofi Aubyn said that as part of WANEP’s Electoral Violence Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation project, WANEP had categorized the 275 electoral districts into hotspots on those that They are high risk, risk and low risk.

Furthermore, the Minister of Home Affairs, Henry Quartey, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister, Madam Naana Eyiah Quansah, said periodic elections had become a central part of democracy.

Concerns raised against the EC over registration of new voters, violence arising from voter registrations, industrial action and intemperate language in traditional and new media were issues that needed solution with possible avenues, he said.

He called on the private sector and the international community to support them in the noble task of guaranteeing peace and human security.


Related Articles

Back to top button