Pressure group Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) has organized a public forum on the forthcoming December 7 elections in Tamale.
Hundreds of the voter population in the Tamale Metropolis attended the event under the theme, “Protecting the ballot: strengthening the integrity of elections in Ghana.” Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Central University College, Dr. Amoako Bah of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Faculty of Law and an educationist, Alhaji Mahama Mumuni were the principal speakers.
Convener of the Let My Vote Count Alliance, David Asante in his opening remarks said preserving the integrity of the ballot on December 7 is non-negotiable.
He charged Ghanaians to resist any attempt by the Electoral Commission (EC) to circumvent the will of the electorate as witnessed in 2012.
“The results must be a true reflection of the voters’ choice after the elections and any form of irregularities must be resisted,” he emphasized.
David Asante claimed the numerous law suits against the EC over the disqualification of some 13 Presidential hopefuls indicated that Ghanaians are willing to preserve the integrity of the nation’s democracy.
The first speaker, Alhaji Mahama Mumuni condemned politicians who used intemperate language on the airwaves.
He observed that such innuendos scared investors for which reason attitudinal change was required in the political landscape.
Alhaji Mahama Mumuni tasked the nation’s intellectuals to renew their spirit of voluntarism and police the ballot on December 7.
He described the 2012 land mark election petition as an eye opener to electoral malpractices and thereby challenged the EC to avoid suspicious acts ahead of the December 7 elections.
Alhaji Mahama Mumuni appealed to political party polling agents to reject freebies and religiously safeguard the ballot on December 7.
Dr. Amoako Bah The outspoken Dr. Amoako Bah of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Faculty of Law asserted that Ghanaians have lost confidence in the Charlotte Osei led EC. He claimed the EC is using orchestrated machinations to rig the December 7 polls in favour of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“Citizens must be rigid because Charlotte Osei cannot be trusted. Charlotte Osei does not understand the law and she does not accept the law.”
Disqualification of 13 Presidential hopefuls He took a swipe at the EC on the disqualification of the 13 Presidential hopefuls and alleged that the EC used a wrong approach.
He thus cautioned Ghanaians against rejoicing over their “Wrongful” disqualifications.
“The EC Chairperson is taking unilateral decisions likely to cause us a great harm as a country and I want to caution some of us against rejoicing over the disqualification of the 13 Presidential hopefuls.”
He referred to Ghana’s Legislature as a rubber stamp subservient to the dictates of the President.
Dr. Amoako Bah suggested that the 2012 land mark election petition required a re-run. “Safeguarding the integrity of elections in a civilized democracy is not the responsibility of the citizens but the responsibility of the EC.”
“General mistrust and dishonesty are affecting the current EC administration and so I challenge the EC to defend the people by defending the integrity of the upcoming elections.”
He served notice that some dishonest security personnel could not be trusted on the elections day.
“Some of the security personnel are not men of integrity and I urge you to be vigilante and march their vehicles on the day of elections.
Stand firm and resist security personnel intimidations.” Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah Criminologist, Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Central University College among other concerns bemoaned Northern Region’s under development for the past 18 years.
“For the past 18 years Northern Region is lacking development and poverty is still endemic in the area.” He called for a review and building a comprehensive national security policy.
“National security operatives should act professionally in handling election disputes.” He also pleaded with Ghanaians to make a personal commitment to protect the ballot on December 7.
He condemned indiscipline and urban lawlessness, chieftaincy and political corruption occasioned by irresponsible citizens.
He bemoaned the abuse of social media and observed that it is dangerous for Ghana’s democracy.
Professor Attafuah lauded the formation of LMVCA, Occupy Ghana, Citizens Ghana and other pressure groups as well as the actions of citizen vigilante, Martin Amidu in fighting corruption.
He renewed confidence in the media and the Judiciary commitment to zealously safeguard the nation’s democracy.