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Ghana Bigger Than Any Party   
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The National Enforcement Body of the 2012 Political Parties Code of Conduct has cautioned against actions and utterances that threaten the peace and stability of the country, stressing that Ghana is bigger than any political party or individual.

The body, established by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) with the approval of the political parties, is mandated to monitor the conduct of the political parties and their supporters to ensure they behave in a manner that is expected of them as enshrined in the Political Parties Code of Conduct of 2012.

Following a meeting with the executive of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Accra Thursday, to deliberate on the recent disturbances that characterised the ongoing biometric registration exercise, the body cautioned political parties to beware that they were being monitored by the enforcement bodies at the national and regional levels before, during and after the elections and that any officer/executive who violated the code would be named and shamed.

A statement issued in Accra, jointly signed by the Chairman of the National Enforcement Body, Most Rev. Emmanuel Asante; a visiting Fellow at the IEA, Brigadier General Francis Agyemfra; and representatives of political parties and other organisations, noted that the NDC and the NPP had been at the centre of the recent allegations of hate speech, inciteful statements, as well as violence against women and children.

The other members are Justice Emile Short, a former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice; Ms Hilary Gbedemah, Rector of the Law Institute; the Deputy Director of the National Commission of Civic Education, Mrs Augustina Akumanyi; a representative of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Mr Atik Mohammed, and a Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mr David Kangah.

The rest are: Mr Abdulai Fulamba, a representative of the NPP; Mr Paul Manly Awini, a representative of the Ghana Police Service; Mr Kwame Jantuah, a Convention People’s Party (CPP) representative; Father Patrick Amos from the National Catholic Secretariat and Mr William Doworkpor, a representative of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).

The statement recalled some reported cases of violence which included a report of a 12-year-old boy who was accidentally shot when an NDC agent allegedly pulled a pistol and shot through the people at a registration centre at Foase Kokoben in the Bekwai Constituency in the Ashanti Region.

It also noted the alleged report of an NDC party agent who was struck on the head with a sharp machete by an NPP electoral area co-ordinator at the Ayensuano Constituency in the Eastern Region, as well as the alleged attack on Ms Ursula Owusu, an NPP activist by supposed NDC macho men in the Odododiodoo Constituency.

The body made reference to the hate speech and inflammatory comments uttered by members of the two major political parties such as, “we would match the violence boot-for-boot”; “we would do whatever it takes for our people to register”; “I am declaring war”, describing those comments as unfortunate and feared that such comments could worsen the political climate as the country prepared for the December polls.

The leadership of the NDC and the NPP, according to the statement, renewed their confidence in the Political Parties Code of Conduct 2012 and the National Enforcement Body to deal with breaches of the code.

“The political parties further promised to work closely with each other in order to send a signal to their followers that they are not enemies,” it said.

With reference to page five of the code, the body called on the political parties to condemn comments that sought to incite violence and desist from justifying such comments.

The Ghana Police Service was also urged to act independently without fear or favour in the discharge of its duties, as well as the Ghana Journalists Association and the National Media Commission, to, as a matter of urgency, take steps to ensure that media houses that incited violence were sanctioned.

“In the Body’s opinion, the events that occurred during the 2008 elections regarding Oman FM and Radio Gold are still fresh in the minds of Ghanaians and should serve as a guide.”
Source: graphicghana.com

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