Political parties participating in the November 7, 2016 general election have kicked against the use of militant pressure groups in resolving electoral disputes.
They have, therefore, resolved to reject electoral violence in all forms.
They have also disassociated themselves from all forms of vigilante groups and other activities in order to ensure a peaceful election.
They expressed their abhorrence to violence in a 15-point communiqué issued at the end of a two-day workshop on armed violence in elections organised by the national Commission on Small Arms and the Ghana Police Service at Ada in the Eastern Region.
The participants included representatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP).
The rest were from the All People’s Congress (APC), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Independent People’s Party (IPP), the United Progressive Party (UPP) and the Ghana Freedom Party GFP).
The communique, which was signed by either the party chair or women commissioners of the various political parties, indicated that the parties had agreed to denounce and renounce the use of violence and to expose any undesirable elements within their ranks.
They also appealed to the National Media Commission (NMC) to take steps to curtail the use of offensive and provocative language against political opponents in the media.
Additionally, the political parties said they would look up to the security agencies to uphold their constitutional mandate to remain impartial and professional in the discharge of their functions before, during and after the elections.
The communique said at the meeting, it was agreed that the Police Administration would provide security to all duly elected presidential and vice presidential candidates through formal request from the political parties.
To curb the proliferation of small arms and ensure gun control, the parties urged the state security to work with all stakeholders to identify illicit weapons in the country and take immediate steps to restrain the supply of such weapons and ammunitions into the country.
They asked the state security agencies to apply the laws governing the abuse of arms without favour.
They also asked the government to strengthen the border management security institutions by providing them with the needed equipment such as scanners and metal detectors that would facilitate their efforts to identify smuggling of weapons into Ghana.
They urged the government to empower the Small Arms Commission to effectively monitor arms import, the renewal of arms import licences and accountability of arms distribution and acquisition.
Source: Daily Graphic
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