A survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) ahead of the December 7, polls found that Ghanaians remain committed to a non-violence during the period.
According to the Centre, the research which was conducted amongst a national representative sample of 2,400 randomly selected adults denotes an expression of an equally strong commitment to the rule of law and peaceful means to resolve election disputes.
“Ghanaian commitment to the ballot box remains strong, anchored in the belief that elections do matter, and their votes would make a difference,” CDD-Ghana said.
They put a very high premium on peaceful elections, strongly abhor election violence, and would like to see perpetrators of election violence given jail sentences” the report further reads.
This comes at a time when several personalities and major organisations have called for intensified security operations nationwide. Security analysts and safety experts have also warned of possible disturbances during elections.
The Ghana Police Service has also identified a number of areas where chaos is likely to erupt ahead of the December 7, elections.
In agreement, CCD-Ghana reports that albeit devoted to maintaining the country’s peace and stability, there is increased trepidation amongst the general public about the possibility of violence, leading to calls for augmented security during the polls.
“There is considerable apprehension about violence by party and candidate supporters. They remain concerned about the activities of party vigilantes – which is underscored by the desire of 8 in 10 respondents in our survey for armed security personnel present at the polling stations”.
Director of Research at CDD Ghana, Dr. Kojo Asante advised that the issue ought to be handled with care by security agencies, in order to prevent an unexpected turn of events.
Again, as recorded in the report, Ghanaians are worried able the integrity of the vote count and result transmission process. This is likely reason why a substantial majority of respondents want to see independent domestic and international observers present for the polls, it postulates.
“A large minority – more than 4 in 10 – express concerns about the wrong vote tally being announced, and about a third are not confident that their vote would be counted (concerns that are far higher than 2016)”.
This notwithstanding, the Electoral Commission’s (EC) public assurances seem to have rekindled hopes, as CDD Ghana’s survey findings further show that Ghanaians are confident in its ability and competence to deliver a noncontroversial election.
“They deem the EC’s level of preparedness, together with other election-related state and non-state agencies (particularly the military and police), adequate. Most importantly, they express broad confidence in the EC and allied bodies’ ability to deliver credible Election 2020.
“Levels of trust in the EC and other non-party state and non-state bodies directly and indirectly involved in delivering peaceful elections with credible outcomes are generally high, particularly for the military, police, and media”.