Book on Managing Electoral Violence launched

Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Asante
Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Asante

Professor Emmanuel Asante, the Chairman of the National Peace Council, has launched a book titled; “Managing Election-Related Conflict and Violence for Democratic Stability in Ghana II”.

The 196-page book was produced by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research.

The book contains 11 chapters and provides broad strokes on the dynamic trends evident in Ghana’s prevailing political and democratic processes.

It also discusses how to ensure a peaceful and credible electioneering period in 2016 and beyond. 

The book also argues that while Ghana has been lauded for its democratic credentials and relative stability, a deep reflection exposes some peculiar security threats that are heightened during electioneering. 

Funding for the publication was from the governments of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Prof. Asante said: “The research and publication of this book has come at a more appropriate time than ever and I believe it would contribute meaningfully to enhancing our discourse towards the elections”.

He said electoral violence was usually typified by threat, intimidation and physical assault of voters, electoral officials and supporters of rival parties, burning and looting of property, seizure of ballot boxes by ‘macho men’ and unemployed youth and political vigilantes and direct clashes between opposing local party supporters. 

He said other challenges stemmed from intemperate language by political actors, abuse of public law and manipulation of religious and ethnic identity for political purposes.

The book discusses that violence is most likely to erupt in situations where there are already underlying or ‘root cause’ of conflict such as deliberate exclusion of specific groups from the benefits of development, a history of ethnic, land and religious tensions and exuberant and idle youth groups or political vigilante groups festering trouble and creating insecure environment. 

Dr Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, the Head of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research of the KAIPTC, who co-edited the book, said despite the role that elections played in the consolidation of Ghana’s democracy they were plagued with localised violence that threatened the peace, security and stability of the country.      

The Commandant of the KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Evans, said Ghana’s democracy was standing on one thin leg and nothing should be done to distabilise it. 

He hailed the KAIPTC Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research for the publication, stating that it would go a long way to contribute towards ensuring violent free elections on December 7 and beyond. 

Dr John Kudalor, the Inspector General of Police, cautioned political parties against the formation of vigilante groups which was an illegality. 

He said the police and other state security forces were on top of their job to provide adequate security for the December polls adding that providing security for the nation was the responsibility of all and sundry. 

At the launch was Dr Christine Evans-Klock, the United Nations Ghana Resident Co-ordinator.

Source: GNA

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