Sunday, September 19

National security points to mistrust in the electoral commission as potential grounds for violence and threat to the security of the state

Two national security operatives arrested for attempted takeover of Kade Palace

The national security secretariat says mistrust in the electoral commission is
arming political parties’ vigilante groups for violence which threatens the
security of the state.

The secretariat’s strategic security policy is demanding the
electoral commission investigates the source of the public mistrust and take
steps to urgently address them.

The opposition national democratic congress has not hidden its dislike for and
mistrust in the current leadership of the Jean Mensah led electoral commission.

Indeed the outcome of the 2020 general elections and the Supreme Court
judgment on the election petition entrenched the party’s strong opposition to
the EC. Former president John Mahama amplifies this mistrust at a news
conference after the supreme court dismissed his election petition said the said
the leadership of the EC has no business staying in office.

The national security recognizes the threat such a posture poses to the security
of the state. The national risk assessment indicates that mistrust in the electoral
process itself is a major driver of this threat and risk of party-political violence.

It indicates that In spite of previous examples of opposition parties winning
elections in Ghana, the suspicion of collusion between the governing party and
the Electoral Commission to rig elections for the incumbent continues to drive
the situation towards dispute and potential violence.

The document says the emergence of political vigilante groups in the country is,
in this regard, a major threat to our national security interests and could

substantially disrupt national, social cohesion to the prejudice of the stability of
the country. It warns that considering the continued evolving nature of these
vigilante groups and the impunity with which they tend to carry out their
unlawful acts, the menace is likely to escalate if robust measures are not
implemented to address the phenomenon.

Response as determined by the national security includes the need for
Parliament to examine what legislative response measures are required to
enhance transparency in our election processes as well as to truncate the
formation and running of political party vigilante groups in the country.

It calls on the Electoral Commission to identify the sources of public mistrust in
its electioneering systems and processes and take necessary action or make
recommendations for addressing them.

The sentiments of the national security secretariat is shared by the Head of the
United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Ibn Chambas. At a center
for democratic development election review seminar, he called on the election body to
take steps to build trust and remove doubt surrounding its activities.

But deputy chairman of the electoral commission, Dr. Bossman Asare says the EC
has been and will remain neutral. He said the nature of its work and the law
establishing the commission makes it impossible to be bias in the discharge of its
duties. According to him some workshops organized to review the 2020 elections and
others coming up are all steps taken to ensure credibility in the process.
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