GHANA ELECTION 2020: CITIZENS AND MUST CONDUCT THEMSELVES PEACEFULLY
The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) is calling the citizenry to conduct themselves peacefully ahead of the general elections to take place in the next 3 days. Importantly, this call entreats the youth who constitute over a third of the population not to allow themselves to be used as “puppets” to perpetrate violence.
Most elections related violence have seen the youth as perpetrators and victims; direct and indirect participants in all angles. This year should be different! The youth must take their responsibility into their own hands than to allow “others” to “drive” them to misbehave during these crucial times.
The Foundation’s call follows a previous statement that urged Political Party Leaders to put Ghana first by disbanding their vigilantism groups if not done yet; refrain from spreading hate speech; fake news and insults that engender violence to spreading peaceful messages; and supporting the campaign for a zero tolerance against electoral violence;
By this call we are drawing attention to the very little things the youth can do to promote peace. Behaving peacefully within the remit of the law is not limited to the following.
- C. I. 15 PUBLIC ELECTIONS REGULATIONS, 1996
There are provisions that mandate the Presiding Officer and polling assistance to conduct and maintain law and order at the polling station. As a youth you have a right to vote and a responsibility to vote peacefully. There is No provision for violence, otherwise there will be consequences. The youth have a duty to go home after voting and can come back to observe counting after voting ends. Doing this can reduce the incidence of violence. This is an act of Peace. Go home after Voting!
- PNDCL 284 REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE LAW, 1992
There is provision in this law that entreats you to vote (if you are eligible) at your registration center ONCE, except you will vote on proxy.
- ACT 699 REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE (AMENDMENT) ACT 2006
There are provisions in the law that entreats you to vote as a citizen by exercising your civic responsibility. This responsibility should not be marked by violence.
- ARTICLES 49 AND 50 (1992 Constitution)
There are provisions that entreats you to keep your ballot a secret one. In this our digital era, there is the temptation to do otherwise. Don’t be taking snapshots and showing to the world. You have a duty and a responsibility to keep the ballot secret. Do what the law says to promote Peace.
- Overall, the youth have a responsibility to know his or her responsibility at the polling station; the electoral process; the protocols involved; roles and responsibility of electoral officers and polling agents and security agents. Knowing this can prevent unnecessary accusations and allegations that can fuel anger and cause violence.
To the YOUTH! remember…Don’t be a word or letter in someone’s violent agenda. Don’t waste your effort, power and blood for someone in the name of violence and think that you are a hero. Don’t listen to the call of “others” who persuade by violence under words of ethnicity, hate and false hope. Put peace in your souls and share it among people. Make this year’s election a song for tomorrow’s youth to sing.
The youth have a right to vote but also a responsibility to protect the peace in the country. Remember! Peace begins with YOU!
We have a country to protect.
Theodora W. Anti
Contact No. 0205336268