Former President Jerry John Rawlings on Thursday urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to use a consultative approach that binds in stakeholders throughout the electoral process.
He said the EC, the fulcrum of Ghana’s multiparty democracy, must be supported and protected by all stakeholders to ensure a free, fair and transparent election and a peaceful society.
“That notwithstanding, it is equally important for that revered institution, the 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,” he said.
Former President Rawlings said this in Accra during a virtual address to mark the 41st Anniversary of the June 4 Revolution, on the theme “Strengthening the Spirit of Patriotism, Resilience and Integrity in Difficult Times”.
He said, “An election is an event but, building a democratic, free and peaceful society is a process so the debate surrounding the new voters’ register must be thoroughly examined so we do not undermine the successes we have chalked so far, as a nation.”
“In addition, the constitutional mandate of the EC must be respected by all.
“Our democracy is borne out of fire and we must dearly and compassionately protect its flames. One of the key institutional arms of this democratic discourse from pre-colonial to modern-day Ghana is the protection of right and choice”.
He said Ghanaians must endeavour as a nation to deepen the spirit of the consultative process, equity, respect for the rule of law or in simple terms, the tenet of democracy and multiparty democracy.
“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,” Former President Rawlings said.
Mr Rawlings said the sanctity of the right of choice was not a matter Ghanaians could compromise with.
“That sanctity must be preserved at all cost and as we inch towards December let us ensure that the institutional processes are transparent and beyond blemish”.
He said freedom and justice were not abstract and that they were was very much related to the sanctity of the right of choice.
The former President said those who were eligible to exercise that right of choice should not and could not be disenfranchised by dictates that defeat one’s right to vote.
Former President Rawlings noted that the sanctity of justice should be preserved and protected “with all of us being subject to the practice of what is just as unjust society deepens the inequities that exist.”
He said the patriotic zeal that gave birth to June 4 was one that could not be extinguished.
“Any attempt to compromise on the ideals of probity, accountability and integrity in our everyday lives is an attempt to snuff out the light that was lit 41 years ago.”
“Let us honour the memories of those who laid down their lives liberating Ghana,” he stated.