The first President of the fourth republic says the constitutional mandate of the Electoral Commission must be respected by all stakeholders
According to former President Jerry John Rawlings, the Electoral Commission which is the fulcrum of Ghana’s multiparty democracy must be supported and protected by all stakeholders; to ensure a free and fair election and a peaceful society.
That notwithstanding, he said it is equally important for that revered institution, EC, to ensure that the processes leading to this year’s elections are done in consultation with the stakeholders of the nation; to prevent unnecessary suspicion, and promote a peaceful and cohesive society.
“An election is an event but, building a democratic, free and peaceful society is a process so the debate surrounding the new voter’s register must be thoroughly examined so we do not undermine the successes we have chalked so far, as a nation”, he said.
Making a virtual address to mark the June 4th uprising in 1979, President Rawlings said “While we work towards perfecting our electoral process, I urge you all to pursue and sustain our uniqueness as a country in the democratization process.”
He mentioned that the sanctity of the right of choice is not a matter that can be compromise with, adding “That sanctity must be preserved at all cost and as we inch towards November let us ensure that the institutional processes are transparent and beyond blemish.”
“Freedom and justice is not abstract. It is very much related to the sanctity of the right of choice. Those who are eligible to exercise that right of choice should not and cannot be disenfranchised by dictates that defeat one’s right to vote. The sanctity of justice should be preserved and protected with all of us being subject to the practice of what is just. An unjust society deepens the inequities that exist.”
He concluded saying the patriotic zeal that gave birth to June 4 is one that cannot be extinguished, and therefore any attempt to compromise on the ideals of probity, accountability and integrity in everyday lives is an attempt to snuff out the light that was lit 41 years ago.