Tuesday, September 23, 2008

IEA cites NPP and NDC for political violence

     The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA, Ghana) on Friday cited the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for heightening political tension in the country.
       In a statement to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) signed by Mrs Jean Mensa, IEA Administrator, the institute said acts of violence and political tension
in the country is directly traceable to supporters of NPP and NDC with the potential of fouling the political atmosphere during and even after the elections. 
    The statement condemned the use of inflammatory language on platforms,
the labelling of political rivals as "murderers", "drug barons" send dangerous signals to the youth that it is acceptable to use foul language and demean in the name of politics.
     "We also note the acrimonious posturing, scaremongering, the subtle use of ethnicity, threats of reprisals, non-cooperation and mutual suspicion which are increasingly becoming characteristic of political dialogue between leading member of NPP and NDC," the statement stated.
     In the worst cases, lives and property have been lost in the heat of electoral battles- a clear dent on Ghana's claim to be the shining star of Africa's democracy.
      The IEA noted; "the numerous examples around us show, the road to electoral anarchy is a slippery one…all that is necessary for democratic regression is for extremists on two sides to use politics and elections as a smokescreen for parochial agenda."
     The IEA reminded Political Parties that, there must be a Republic of Ghana after December's General Election, therefore, any act or speech which has the capacity to derail the hard-won democratic gains of the past 16 years must be soundly condemned.
     The Political Parties Code of Conduct – to which the NPP, NDC and indeed all the major Political Parties are signatories are signatories- must be respected. It cannot be the case that they preach virtue and practice vice or are unwilling to call the few supporters- who use them as refuge for extreme acts- to order.
     Certainly, no parochial desire for power can over-ride the interests of the State.
     The statement also reminded the media of their constitutional obligation to the state, and urged the media practitioners to avoid giving (precious) airtime to politicians and 'social commentators' who consistently demonstrate a tendency to abuse speech or use it for mischievous ends.
    "The Media must familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code and hold politicians to it.
     "Right-thinking citizens must rise and add their voices against them who would mortgage the future of this country for the sake of political power.   There is only one Ghana. We must all work to protect and sustain her," the statement stated. 

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