Thursday, January 22, 2009

IEA pleased with outcome of 2008 elections

The Institute of Economic Affairs said on Thursday that it was pleased with the peaceful outcome of the 2008 general elections despite the fact that it stretched democracy and its institutions to their elastic limits.
     The IEA said peace was generally kept, a fact it attributed to the work and commitment of its Presidential Debates Committee and National Enforcement Body of the Code of Conduct 2008.
     Presenting a joint statement on behalf of the two bodies, the Reverend Dr Fred Deegbe, Chairman, National Enforcement Body, said the Presidential Debates apart from introducing issues-driven approach also helped to move the campaigns away from one of personalities, acrimony, insults and attacks.
     The debates also helped to calm tensions through the display of political maturity by the flag bearers, which helped their followers to comport themselves.
     Dr Deegbe said the adoption of the Political Parties Code of Conduct, 2008, a document drafted and voluntarily acceded to by the registered political parties, had also contributed to the peaceful conduct of the elections.
     The code, he said, ensured compliance with the law, leading to the avoidance of past breaches of the electoral law such as campaigning 24 hours before elections, wearing party paraphernalia on Election Day, use of inflammatory language and disrespect for political rivals.
     "Thus despite the high stakes and tension of Election 2008, it recorded the lowest number of violent incidents and general breaches of the law," Dr Deegbe said.
     The two bodies congratulated all the presidential and parliamentary candidates in the 2008 elections, especially President John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
     "Their comportment, even in difficult times, led to a peaceful outcome," he said.
     Whilst congratulating President Atta Mills for winning the elections, the two bodies reminded him of his campaign pledges of investing in the economy, jobs and people.
     The IEA called on Ghanaians, political parties and civil society to contribute their quota to the task of building the nation.

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