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Regional News Sun, 23 Dec 2012

We need to look seriously at electoral concerns – Prof Dovlo

Reverent Professor Elom Dovlo, a Historian of Religion of the University of Ghana, has said it is important of the nation to make a sober reflection on the disturbing trend vote rigging allegations and its attendant threats of violence and mayhem during the climax of each political season.

He said in the sixth election of the fourth republican constitution, the continuous allegations of vote rigging and the falsification of results by political opponents is creating an unhealthy political tension which climaxes right before the elections take place.

Professor Dovlo said this when the GNA called on him to discuss the noticeable upsurge in calls for prayers and peace during elections seasons.

He said as the success of subsequent elections is predicated on the outcome of the previous election, politicians of both divide in Ghana, often overreach themselves in explaining to their followers the reasons for the stated results.

Professor Dovlo said such concerns could be handled by the provisions in the constitution and the competent authorities mandated to ensure the peaceful and satisfactory settlement of all electoral concerns.

He said the absence of decorum used by political activists in the media has often created the tense atmosphere in the society before elections take place.

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Professor Dovlo said the increasing tempo on the call for prayer and peace by religious leaders and people from all walks of life, shows unease in the society and the need for a sober reflection on ways to reduce the high political tension.

He said we need to look at them quickly to help dispel the notion that the quest for political expression could lead the nation to violence and anarchy.

Professor Dovlo said a similar kind of fear and tension existed in the military regimes prior to the fourth republican constitution, where governmental change was unpredictable and often placed the entire nation in fear.

He said in the current dispensation, the tense atmosphere is characterised by acerbic post- election rhetoric and this often continues till the next elections are due and then the threats of pre-election violence begin to emerge, and this continues with the threat of post- election violence should the election go one way or the other.

This, Professor Dovlo said, is an unhealthy trend for the nation and that as we enter into the new year, it was important to reflect on these concerns, be candid and truthful in all our affairs, and to ensure that each election does not portend violence and anarchy but peace and stability for the development of the nation.

Source: GNA
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