Election Petition: Parties urged to accept verdict

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IDEG

The Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) in collaboration with Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) has called on parties to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court on the election petition case in the interest of national peace.

“Regardless of the outcome, we must all remember to put Ghana first and take the necessary actions to guarantee that our nation is not plunged into political turmoil”.

Major General Nii Carl Coleman (Rtd), Chairman of CFI, at a press conference in Accra, said the election petition had underscored the need to build and sustain trust in the country’s democratic institutions.

The conference, supported by Royal Netherlands Embassy and Star Ghana Foundation, was on the theme: Maintaining Peace,Post Supreme Court Verdict.

He commended President Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party and Mr John Mahama, the Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for signing the peace pact prior to the general elections and committed themselves to go to court to resolve any dispute that might occur over the elections results.

Maj. Gen. Rtd Coleman described the move as the high point of the national effort to sustain peace and tranquility in the country.

“ We remind the nation that the logic of going to court is that you accept the verdict of the court; or you may disagree with the verdict, in which case you use legal means to seek redress or you may decide to move on, in the interest of peace,” he said.

According to him, the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections were not without some sporadic incidents of violence and loss of lives, but was relatively peaceful process as compared to elections in other countries.

He called on the leadership of the NPP and the NDC to live up to expectation and encourage their supporters to avoid engaging in violent and aggressive conduct that would endanger national peace, security and threaten democratic gains.

“We also call on the leadership of both parties to work together to undertake the longstanding constitutional reforms to eradicate the root causes of vigilante violence and the winner-takes all system as committed in the 2020 Presidential Peace Pack”.

He called on the Police to ensure law and order as well as the safety of the citizenry through professional enforcement of the country’s law.

The Chairman of the CFI urged the media to be circumspect in their reportage and ensure that their outlets did not become platforms for hate speech and insults.

Mr Kwesi Jonah, Senior Research Fellow, IDEG appealed to all especially the media to remember that they had a responsibility to ensure peace after the verdict of the court.

This, he explained was necessary because preserving the peace and stability of the country after the verdict was a shared responsibility.

Mr Mahama on December 30, 2020 filed a Presidential Election petition seeking to reverse the Presidential election results declared by Mrs Jean Mensah, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.

The Supreme Court has scheduled Thursday March 4, 2021 for its verdict. – GNA

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