Electoral violence in the international political system cannot be underestimated in modern politics. It has become a sub-component of political violence which is perpetrated with impunity by political antagonists. This situation deserves a critical focus from the international scene due to its devastating effects during general elections. The underlying factor of a violence -free election in any sovereign state is encapsulated in the concept of “free and fair election” which is the determining factor in the legitimacy of an election.

In Ghana, our path to democratisation has critically been informed by this process and it is on this backdrop that all stakeholders must support to strengthen institutional capacity to promote acceptable democratic norms and values that ensure the rule of law, accountability and transparency.

It is also noted that, if electoral violence is not constructively managed, it can have a consequential effects on social cohesion and the acceptability and legitimacy of democracy. According to (Snyder 2000, Jarstal and Sisk, 2008), democratisation in transitional or war-torn countries, and in elections in particular, can become a hindrance rather than a solution to peace building. In a high peak of political campaigns, politicians are tempted to adopt “hate speech.”

Hate speech, as a form of language use may be present in political discourse and may obviously provide the space for insecurity.

In a book edited by Dr. Kwesi Anning and Kwaku Danso of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre ( KAIPTC ) captioned ‘ Managing Election-Related Violence for Democratic Stability in Ghana’  stressed that “freedom of speech may indeed be one of the indicators of the entrenchment of human rights in a democracy.

However, when this right is misapplied or abused for political gain, for instance, it has the potential of creating a volatile milieu with tensions, mistrust, hatred, intolerance, and suspicion that have the potential to lead to acts of violence under the slightest provocation. “

BUSACgh reminds the Ghanaian public of our civic responsibility and our collective initiative to create a secure and resilient electoral process which is a vital national interest and one of the highest national priorities committed to addressing the sustainability of our democratic dispensation. 

David Wilson Asetena-Krah 

Executive Chairman & Founder 


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