The Apex Court of our land has ruled in favour of the compilation of a new voter register. This constitutional mandate therefore allows all eligible Ghanaians to participate fully in the electoral process to choose our leaders.
Elections are a sovereign process in any geopolitical environment by which people are able to exercise their political, civil and human rights. It is also a contest for legitimate power that should normally be characterized by a non-violent competition. As Ghanaians, our electoral history is unique. Since the inception of our democratic dispensation, the country has experienced seven successful elections. This year’s election becomes a cornerstone to consolidate the electoral gains the country has chalked. Legally, an election is held in compliance with national laws that create a change in our political atmosphere in a polarized socio-cultural environment. The General Election of 2020 in Ghana becomes unique in the circumstances in which it would be conducted. It is noted however that the nature of an election makes it vulnerable and it can degenerate into a range of security threats against participants, infrastructure, information and materials.
Even though elections are a hallmark of representative democracy, they are also a conduit to unleashing conflict and tensions that if not constructively managed, could potentially lead to the destabilization of the fabric of society. Perpetrators of electoral conflict may act without legal consequences endangering a culture of impunity for such crimes. In most areas, elections have contributed to conflicts and violence on ethno-cultural and religious lines which erode the social order, national unity and economic development.
BUSACgh wishes to draw the attention of the Ghanaian public to the fact that though elections are pivotal to the democratic process, they do not invariably make democracy, nor do they ensure peace and security. In order to enhance our democratic processes, all stakeholders must ensure impartiality, respect relevant independent election management bodies and identifiable roles of the political parties and civil society organizations.
In addition, we must also be aware that electoral violence can create obstacles to consolidating our successful democratic gains over the period. Let us all join hands together as a people with a common destiny and a common objective of working towards a free and fair election devoid of conflict and violence.
DAVID WILSON ASETENA-KRAH