Reject insulting politicians at polls - Appiagye
A Senior Principal Investigation Officer at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice in the Ashanti Region, Mr Joseph Maxwell Appiagye, has said this is the time for the electorate to reject politicians who indulge in vituperations, violence and chaotic acts in seeking the mandate of the people.
According to Mr Appiagye, who is also the Head of Investigations, Anti-Corruption Focal Person at the CHRAJ, voting or the right to vote is a fundamental human right, and that in exercising this right both the electorate and the politicians must tolerate each others views for peace to prevail always.
He was sharing his views on good governance and political discourse in the country with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi recently during a townhall encounter organised by the Graphic Communication Group Limited for political party representatives in the Ashanti Region last week.
He said the good governance agenda was on course after Ghana had successfully held five elections and was proceeding with its sixth election on December 7, 2012.
He said if political parties would be encouraged to talk to each other more openly, it would encourage their followers to do the same and thereby engender peace in the country.
“Indeed, the Graphic Townhall Meetings and the Institute of Economic Affairs Presidential Debate are telling the whole world that Ghana is moving forward in the governance agenda,” Mr Appiagye stated.
He said as the country engaged in politics of issues, it went a long way to reduce political tensions as well as deepened the good governance agenda.
According to the human rights officer, corruption was also a big issue in the politics of the country, and that every effort should be made to halt the trend.
He disclosed that CHRAJ as a governance institution was monitoring political party rallies all over the country to help influence national policy.
He said some of the things CHRAJ was looking out for was attendance, comportment of the crowd, and how the electorate received campaign messages.
In all of this, we are focusing on how peaceful this year’s elections would be.
He called on the media to play their roles towards peaceful polls by exposing politicians who engaged in politics of insults.
He said radio, television stations and newspaper firms which offered their privilege platform to be used to propagate politics of insults, acrimony and violence must also be named and shamed.
All these, Mr Appiagye pointed out, would help the electorate become better informed to make right decisions and choices for the progress of the nation.
Relatedly, Mr Afriyie Sakyi, the Chief Superintendent of the Suame Divisional Police Command, said the regional election security taskforce was ready for election 2012.
“The security agencies are more prepared to meet any exigencies that may crop up from now to election day and even after,” he assured the Daily Graphic.
He disclosed that the police administration was constantly in touch with informants on how to deal with political hooligans, saying “come December 7, we will elect a leader of our choice and we should all respect the alternative views of the other.”
He said that security personnel in the region would not compromise on their professional competence in the discharge of their duties towards a peaceful 2012 polls.
He called on the electorate and political parties to abide by the public order act, saying “handling of all political party activities in the region will strictly be on a first come first serve basis.”
In this connection, he explained that the first political party to come and seek police assistance would be given the first hearing in view of logistical challenges.”
He said all the districts within the Ashanti Region were preparing a list of problem prone areas to enable the police to beef up security within such areas during the polls.