Mr Robert Jackson, United States (US) Ambassador to Ghana has called on political parties to disband vigilante groups affiliated to them to create a peaceful atmosphere for the conduct of the December general election.
He said it was not democratic to have political vigilante groups in the country adding such groups engaged in activities that disrupt electoral processes as well as intimidate voters hence the need to disband them.
Mr Jackson made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Tuesday to round off his five-day working visit to the Northern Region.
The tour forms part of a challenge to US ambassadors to celebrate 100 years of the U.S National Park Service by visiting national parks in their countries of assignment.
While in the region, Ambassador Jackson met with various interest groups to discuss issues related to elections and security, and visited Mole National Park and launched the United States Agency for International Development’s Agriculture and Natural Resource Management project to improve the management of natural resources in the northern part of the country.
Mr Jackson said there was nothing wrong for political parties to have youth groups or women groups but “there should be no room for vigilante groups in a democracy.”
Vigilante groups affiliated to some political parties exist in the country and they engage in electoral violence as a means of protecting the interest of their political parties.
Mr Jackson called on all stakeholders to have confidence in the Electoral Commission (EC) saying it (EC) was capable of conducting transparent elections in December this year.
Mr Jackson also called on political parties to engage in issues-based campaign and desist from issuing threats.
He spoke about the United States government’s Feed the Future Initiatives in the country assuring that the U.S foreign policy towards the country (Ghana) would not change no matter which party won its (U.S) presidential elections in November.
He also spoke about the U.S Diversity Lottery Visa programme, whose application began this month (October), urging all prospective applicants not to engage services of middlemen during their application processes.
He urged such applicants to be honest and provide accurate information about themselves to ensure that they were granted visas when selected.