Civil society organisation, CARE for Free and Fair Elcetions (CARE Ghana) has praised the United States of America (USA) government for supporting their call for free and fair elections in the country.
CARE Ghana’s commendation comes after the US government warned to impose sanctions including visa restrictions on individuals that will be found responsible for violence.
A statement from the US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo said the sanctions will apply to some nine African countries that wil hold Parliamentary and Legislative elections between October 2020 and December 2020.
In the October 8 statement, Mr Pompeop said the US will monitor “the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence”.
CARE Ghana’s Executive Secretary, David Kumi Addo, said they welcome “the caution to all African leaders including Ghana who are planning to use undemocratic means such as violence as a means to rig elections and undermine the will of the people.”
“We support the imposition of stiff sanctions and travel restrictions on not only politicians but the leadership of Election Management Bodies and their relatives who allow themselves to be used to prosecute an election rigging agenda,” Kumi Addo added with theconviction that the warning “will serve as a deterrent to those with the intention to
undermine our democracy.”
Below is the statement from CARE Ghana.
11TH OCTOBER, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“CARE” GHANA COMMENDS THE US GOVERNMENT FOR SUPPORTING OUR CALL FOR A FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS
Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana “CARE” GHANA wishes to commend the US
Government for supporting our call for a free, fair and transparent elections. CARE GHANA also welcomes the caution to all African leaders including Ghana who are planning to use undemocratic means such as violence as a means to rig elections and undermine the will of the people.
We support the imposition of stiff sanctions and travel restrictions on not only politicians but the leadership of Election Management Bodies and their relatives who allow themselves to be used to prosecute an election rigging agenda. This call is intended to ensure that politicians who connive with heads of Election Management Bodies to undermine the peace and security of their countries will not abscond with their relatives leaving the masses to suffer.
This, CARE GHANA believes will serve as a deterrent to those with the intention to
undermine our democracy.
The Secretary of State of the United States of America Michael R. Pompeo has stated on
behalf of the United States government that, it is committed to supporting free and fair elections in Africa in upcoming elections. The statement also warned African countries of the risk of facing sanctions if they undermine their country’s democracy.
This call by the US government is timely and refreshing especially at a time when majority of Ghanaians are in despair and harboring fear due to the conduct of the Electoral Commission and inaction on the part of government to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. While President Akufo-Addo keeps giving verbal assurances of free and fair elections, the evidence on the ground suggests otherwise.
More worrying is the active involvement of government officials, the use of the state security to intimidate innocent Ghanaians and the promise by government thugs from the National Security outfit to perpetrate violence in the upcoming elections.
The Ayawaso West Wuogon by elections is a classic example, where NPP vigilantes integrated into the National Security assaulted innocent Ghanaians and a Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram Hon Sam Nartey George. Two innocent Ghanaians were killed in Banda in the Bono Region in the just ended registration exercise. These and many other violent activities perpetrated by members of the ruling party imposes fear in many Ghanaians.
Government’s refusal to implement the recommendations of the Emile Short Commission’s report on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by – elections violence will embolden other thugs to also follow suite. At the just ended voters registration exercise an MP and a deputy minister admitted shooting indiscriminately into a crowd.
This MP and minister is still at post as president Akufo-Addo is unfazed about her dastardly act. All calls for her dismissal have gone unheeded by the President. A national security officer was seen in a video that went viral on social media threatening to shoot a police officer on duty but no action has been taken.
It is for these and many other reasons that “CARE” GHANA welcome the comments by the US government and commend same for reminding African leaders of the United States commitment to a free and fair elections. We are by this statement calling on the international community to issue similar warnings and impose stiff restrictions on governments that seek to retain power by foul means.
This in our view, will compel African leaders especially Ghana to abandon any plan or intention to use violence to rig the upcoming elections and ensure that the elections are conducted in a free, fair, transparent and violence free manner. We also call on the international community to take particular interest in threats of internet and social media shutdown before, during and after elections as well as the use of electronic transmission systems to rig elections.
David Kumi Addo
Executive Secretary “CARE” GHANA