The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) have urged the country and parties involved in the 2020 election petition to accept the judgement, to be delivered by the Supreme Court (SC) today.
They called on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to restrain their members from engaging in violent acts that would endanger national peace, security and threaten the country’s democratic gains.
“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,” IDEG and CFI said in a statement issued yesterday.
The statement, jointly signed by Kwesi Jonah, Head of Advocacy and Institutional Relations of IDEG, and the Chairman of CFI, Major General (retired) Nii Carl Coleman, was read by the latter on behalf of the two bodies at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
The conference was a follow-up to a previous one held after the election, during which the two bodies urged aggrieved parties in the election to petition the Supreme Court.
The petition, which was filed by former President John Mahama, the flagbearer of the NDC for the December 7, 2020 presidential election, is praying the apex court to order the Electoral Commission to rerun the polls because no party got more than 50 percent plus one valid votes cast.
“It is important to recognise that in all democracies, verdicts of this kind will always bring indignation and disappointment to some and jubilation and satisfaction to others.
“What is important for us, as a people, is our collective resolve to maintain the peace and stability of our country. Regardless of the outcome, we must all remember to put Ghana first and take the necessary actions to guarantee that our nation does not plunge into political turmoil,” Major General (Rtd) Coleman said.
He encouraged the leadership of the NDC and NPP to work together and undertake the longstanding constitutional reforms in order to eradicate the root causes of vigilante violence and the winner-takes-all system, as committed to in the 2020 Presidential Peace Pact.
The Ghana Police Service, he said, should professionally ensure law and order as well as the safety of citizens and urged the media to be circumspect in their reportage and prevent hate speech on their platforms.
Major General Coleman asked the citizenry, political parties and journalists to remain calm, saying, “Let us not forget that in this verdict, democracy should be the ultimate winner.”
On the directive from the Judicial Service that the media should ‘pull down’ some reports deemed hateful, Mr. Jonah said IDEG and CFI supported fully the freedom of the media to report on events accurately, adding that “nothing should be done to undermine media freedom.”
BY JONATHAN DONKOR