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Over and above all, it is Ghana first, let the Electoral Commission be!

Iea Jeane Mensah 4 Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC)

Tue, 24 Nov 2020 Source: Andrew Khartey

Our 4th Republic has been strengthened over the years, by our resolve as a people to always put Ghana first ahead of the party and other personal affiliations. We have been tested as a nation over the past twenty-eight years and we have always risen above such tests. This is obviously due to the confidence and faith we have, not just in the institutions of governance, but most importantly the Electoral Commission, and also faith in the good people of Ghana to keep the peace that we have so enjoyed.

It is germane to state that Ghana’s democracy is one envied by many in Africa and arguably across the world. Our dedication to peaceful elections and a smooth transition is what is driving our democracy from a fledgling one to that of a consolidated democracy. The importance we attach to patriotism and our collective desire for peace and development has contributed immensely to our civil discourses. We have as a people, committed ourselves to ensure the peace and stability that we enjoy here in Ghana and this can be seen in our tolerance of views and opinions.

To maintain the continued peace and stability that we have basked in over the years, it is important for all political parties, especially the two major parties- the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress to take advantage of the remaining days of the campaign and impress upon their supporters to choose peace over any form of violence or chaos.

For this to be effective, it is important for party functionaries, to desist from the act of creating unnecessary fear and panic in the run-up to December 7. It is equally important for senior party officials to step away from comments and insinuations that will seek only to cast doubt on the whole electoral process and the preparedness of the Electoral Commission- the sole overseer of the elections. The integrity of the 2020 elections does not only lie at the feet of the Electoral Commission but also at those of the various political parties contesting the elections and solidly, at the hands of all Ghanaians.

As an institution, the Electoral Commission has grown and quite perfected its ability to conduct elections in a free and fair manner. It is incumbent on us as a people, to continue to give the Commission the support and cooperation it deserves to carry out its mandate, devoid of attacks on the Commission and the persons that man its operations especially the Chairperson, Madam Jean Mensa.

The Office of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission is one of the pillars on which Ghana’s democratic credentials stand. As such, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the respect due this office is duly accorded to maintain the trust and confidence the good people of Ghana have in the Commission’s ability to conduct a free and fair election.

The ability of the Commission to follow through quite efficiently, its plans towards the general elections of December 7, deserves some commendation. For every institution to measure its growth and performance, it is important to conduct performance appraisals, internally and externally. Criticism of the Commission is important to its growth and further expansion but must, however, be done in a constructive manner and with the right facts to it. Criticizing in a vacuum and leaving holes to be filled later, does not only harm the Commission but the nation as a whole.

The essence of political parties does not only rest with the quest for political power and governance. It goes as far as ensuring a stable nation to drive an effective economy. For the past twenty-eight years, Ghanaians have demonstrated that no one political party is bigger than the nation we are all proud to call home. A nation wherein our diversity, still find unity.

Elections, whether win or lose, is not the end of the world. It serves as an opportunity for us to continue building a strong, inclusive, and issue-based democracy that honors the memories of our forebears and teaches the young, the essence of peace and stability.

Committing to peace should not be treated as a “whistle-stop” phrase, but rather, an integral part of our democratization process. If we are to continue on the trajectory of a consolidated democracy, it is our duty to ensure peace at every level of the electioneering process.

Our destiny as a nation lies in our ability to choose country over party. It rests with our desire to support and improve the systems that have been put in place to promote peaceful elections. This election is far from the demise or otherwise of the NPP and NDC, and of course, all other political parties. This election is about Ghana and the legacy we hope to leave behind for generations to come.

May it not be said, that we failed our forebears and generations yet unborn. May we go out there on December 7, exercise our franchise in a peaceful and taunt-free manner, and come back home to the peace and stability that runs from Gambaga to Accra and from Wiaso to Keta.

We at The Social Bridge, commit to a free, fair, and peaceful election 2020 and would like to encourage each and everyone of us to do the same because over and above all, it is GHANA over any political party.

Columnist: Andrew Khartey
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