Election 2008 recorded the lowest number of violent incidents in general breaches of electoral laws, despite the high stakes and tension.
This was attributed mainly to adherence to the Political Parties Code of Conduct for Election 2008 by the various political parties.
The Chairman of the National Enforcement Body of the Political Party Code of Conduct for Election 2008, Rev Dr Fred Deegbe, who stated this at a press conference jointly held by the Enforcement Body and the Presidential Debate Committee of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra Thursday January 22, 2009, said the code also helped to hold political parties accountable to the democratic tenets of fair play and good behaviour.
Although Rev Dr Deegbe never gave any statistics, he said comparatively, last year’s elections recorded lower breaches of electoral laws.
He named some of the past offences that were minimised as campaigning 24 hours before election day, wearing party paraphernalia on election day, the use of inflammatory language and disrespect for political rivals.
Rev Deegbe, who is also the General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, said the varied nature and unity among the bodies that worked on the code engendered co-operation and also settled issues that had resulted in tension and misunderstanding.
He added that the presidential and vice-presidential debates also helped in no small measure to “introduce an issue-driven approach to the campaigns and helped to move them away from personalities, acrimony, insults and attacks and also helped to calm tension”.
That, he said, helped the flag bearers to display political maturity, which was emulated by most of their followers.
“The bodies wish to congratulate all the presidential and parliamentary candidates who stood in Election 2008, especially Prof. J. E. A. Mills and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Their comportment, even in difficult times, led to a peaceful outcome for the elections, he added. He also revealed that the smooth nature of the current transition of power from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to that of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was as a result of the use of the IEA-sponsored Transitional Bill, which acted as a blueprint for the transition.
According to Rev Dr Deegbe, the Bill was a collaborative effort between all the political parties and the IEA. The two bodies congratulated Prof. Mills on winning the elections and reminded him “of his campaign pledges of investing in the economy, jobs and the people”.
Source: Daily Graphic