|Jean Mensah, IEA Executive Director|
According to them, the just ended two weeks Limited Voter Register registration which was characterised by violence in some parts of the country is a shadow of what is expected to befall the country during the Presidential and Parliamentary polls.
What is so worrying, they argued, is the fact that some security officers detailed at some of the centres were victims of violence attack while others too were helpless in rescuing accredited observers who were attacked by some political thugs.
“From the look of things, coming November, it might be worse. So, what can we do? We must assist the security agencies to enforce the laws. Why we have not been successful in addressing this issue is that over the years, some people have been doing this with impunity”.
“When one beats somebody, he or she goes scot-free. If you look at the violence that was characterised with the just ended Limited Voter Registration exercise, I strongly suspect that it will be worse than during the elections. So, it is about time we make sure to allow the laws of our country to work. The Police must also be allowed to do their independent work. There should not be any interference and order from above”, noted the Executive Director for Africa and Democratic Affairs, Frank Adakwa Yiadom.
He was contributing to matters arising from the just ended Limited Voter Registration exercise on Accra-based Adom FM, Monday evening.
Mr. Yiadom contributing further said there was the need for all stakeholders to also find out what is preventing the security agencies from punishing wrongdoers, especially, those associated with electoral violence.
The Limited Voter Registration, which started on a very good note from April 28th to May 8, 2016, suddenly recorded series of violence at various centres across the country during the exercise.
The two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) were at the centre stage of events.
Issues of minor registration, alleged importation of foreigners, stolen biometric voter registration devices among others were the order of the day at some centres.
These to a large extent, resulted in chaos with agents and security officers being victims of assault.
Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Mrs. Jean Mensah, contributing to the discussion on the show described the violence that was recorded during the Limited Voter Registration exercise as unprecedented in the history of the country.
“This is the first that we have witnessed violence of this magnitude. It is so frightening if you look at the registration which was characterised by violence. I believe the education on the part of the NCCE and the EC must go down well with the people. The security agencies must also rise up to curtail what we are witnessing because it is alarming,” she lamented.
That aside, she said there is the need for the Electoral Commission to create a level playing field for all political parties to participate in the election process because “once you are able to do that, people will not be jittery and there will be confidence in the system. What is happening now shows that there is a loss of public confidence and also in the security agencies”.