The Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has advised against the use of force to supervise elections at the local level.

He said this is especially when it is to coerce people to vote in a certain pattern.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show, on Monday, November 1, 2021, Prof Kwesi Aning intimated that heavy military presence during such elections is a threat to and a recipe for the subversion of the country’s democracy.

“Using those weapons of violence or threatening to use them if and when necessary, hollows out the process, hollows out our institutions and makes it easy for subversion,” he said.

He further argued that “democracy works best when it’s not threatened or coerced [but] it dies when under the guise of performing our democratic responsibilities, institutions and individuals are coerced to function in a particular way and make particular decisions that are undemocratic but are clothed in the garb of democracy.”

“I think that’s a very dangerous and slippery road,” he added.

Prof. Aning made this comment as part of discussions on the release of a photo in which persons believed to be members of the Juaben Municipal Assembly are seen kneeling before the Chief.

Initial reports indicated that the Assembly Members were asked to kneel on the orders of the Chief of the Community and apologise for failing to approve the President’s MCE nominee but later, on Joy FM‘s Super Morning Show, Assemblyman for the Nobowan Electoral Area refuted the claims.

Emmanuel Gallo clarified that they were asked to kneel for holding a press conference without informing the Chief about it.

However, the incident has been highly condemned by a section of the public, including Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Prof Ransford Gyampo, and Prof Aning who believe it was unnecessary.

Emmanuel Gallo disclosed that Assembly Members of the Juaben Municipal Assembly feel compelled to approve the President’s Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) nominee, Alex Sarfo Kantanka after the heavy deployment of armed police and military officers to the election centre on Friday, October 29.

Prof Aning questioned the motive for dispatching armed men to supervise a local election, insisting that, “that itself threatens democracy, it does not enure to building strong, independent, functional democratic institutions.”

“Because you see, in cases where there has been this slippage, it has not ended well. So we should begin the process of allowing these elections at the local level to progress openly, transparently so that those who are so elected will be accountable to the people,” he noted.

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