Electoral Commission (EC) has been named as a key contributor to political violence during elections according to research.
Their name popped up among a list of organizations including political party youths, aspiring candidates, vigilante groups, media, political party leaders, traditional and religious leaders, who according to a public survey are instigators of political violence.
Respondents during a survey conducted by CDD-Ghana and UNDP indicated the EC does not do due diligence in recruiting temporal staff for election-related activities.
By this they mean, the commission uses more time consuming and recruitment processes to train these people who cannot resolve conflicts at polling stations, when the need arises.
“ The electoral commission was identified as one of the instigators of electoral violence. Based on our respondents, they indicated that the electoral commission does not do due diligence in recruiting its temporal staff. They end up recruiting non-political party members and such people cannot mediate conflict or misunderstanding when they occur at polling stations...” the report read.
Based on certain factors including past experiences at election areas, the research was undertaken in Yendi, Bolgatanga, Sankore, Asawase, and Aflao. The research highlighted the operations of various types of vigilante groups and their motivations. Factors such as unemployment, winner takes all, vote-buying, political influence on the media, lack of confidence in security agencies, poor enforcement of laws, illiteracy, electoral malpractices, and integrity issues with the Electoral Commission as underlying causes of electoral violence.