Rev. Degbe: 2012 elections will be more credible, peaceful
Written by danquahinstitute.org Tuesday, 04 December 2012 17:28
Rev. Dr. Fred Deegbe, the General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, believes that while the electoral process is still beset by problems, the upcoming polls will likely be more credible and peaceful than previous ones.
Part of the reason that he is confident is because the police and other security personnel have been well equipped not only with weapons but with communications gadgets to call for backup when necessary.
Speaking on Joy FM‚Äôs Super Morning Show Monday, he explained that this year‚Äôs election seems to be less characterized by vitriolic language and rabble rousing since some politicians are being ‚Äúnamed and shamed‚ÄĚ for stirring up trouble.
However, the Rev. Minister was not completely confident that political leaders' talk of peace will necessarily translate into actual peace come December 7.
For example, he said although the code of ethics governing this election cannot really be enforced, candidates who violate it risk damaging their reputations, even if they will not face prosecution.
He added that because the stakes are high in any election, all the more so now that the national budget is being supplemented by oil money, politicians are desperate to enter or remain in office. As a result, many of them work to engineer mistrust against their opponents.
Rev. Deegbe said that while some of the mistrust may be genuine, much of it is just a mechanism to mobilize followers against the other party. For example, he said many voters were enraged over the controversy surrounding the creation of 45 new constituencies earlier this year but months later, few people even remember the specific arguments of that debate.
He said that parties exercise too little control over their grassroots members, explaining that party supporters who commit electoral fraud often decide to do so independently and are not necessarily following the orders of the party hierarchy.
He, therefore, advised politicians to strengthen the chain of command within the parties to rein in such rogue elements. He also reminded them not to pursue power at all costs.
The man of God asked the media to resist the urge to break news without thoroughly crosschecking all the facts. It is tempting to be the first to break a story, he conceded, but it‚Äôs important to consider the effect that a misreported story can have on the people of Ghana, who will continue living together even after the election is over.
Rev. Deegbe also instructed the citizens to be vigilant on Election Day so that they minimize the impact of fraudsters' activities on the outcome of the elections.