Four major organisations in the country have called on Ghanaians to totally reject the phenomenon of power-sharing that is gradually creeping into African democracy.
They argued that Ghana, as the beacon of hope and pacesetter in free, transparent and peaceful elections, as well as democracy, must use the 2008 elections to prove to the world that it would not depart from party democracy, which was so far the best form of governance.
They gave the advice during the launch of the “Clean Election Campaign in Ghana 2008 Election Year” organised by the Methodist Church and Initiatives of Change/Moral Re-Armament (MRA)-Ghana, in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), in Accra yesterday.
It was on the theme, “Win Honourably, and Lose Graciously”.
The Most Rev Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, represented the Methodist Church; Major Mohammed Easah (retd), the Chairman of the Coalition of Muslim Organisations of Ghana (COMOG), represented COMOG; Mr Ransford Tetteh, the President of the GJA, represented the association, while Prof. Mike Oquaye represented the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Launching the programme, The Most Rev Dr Aboagye-Mensah said Ghana had advanced in multi-party democracy and gone beyond the situation that called for power sharing after elections and “cannot afford to use this backward system of power sharing”.
He described the phenomenon as an unpopular system for nations in crisis and that Ghana, in its present democratic state, was nowhere near such a system.
He said the practice of Christians and Muslims actively collaborating on many fronts for the good of the nation was “a sign of blessings we in Ghana are taking for granted” because most countries never experience such a beautiful combination of the children of God.
The Most Rev Dr Aboagye-Mensah said the launching of the programme, which included the filling of a pledge form by all Ghanaians to promise to contribute their quota to free, fair and peaceful elections, was not aimed at helping any political party.
For his part, Major Easah said the main reason Ghanaians must avoid power sharing was that anywhere it had been used it had been after innocent lives had been lost through nasty clashes of political opponents after general election.
“Ghanaians should say a big no and develop the capacity to call a spade a spade and not please all sides.” He also appealed to the leaders and followers of political parties to be civil and considerate in their utterances.
Mr Ransford Tetteh pledged the GJA’s resolve to partner all those who cherished freedom and democracy to assist the EC to conduct free, fair and transparent elections and declare “a clear winner for the December polls, in contrast to power-sharing deals, which are gradually gaining ground as a euphemism for African democracy”.
He urged the media to play their roles according to the regulations of journalism to avoid the situation where journalists would be accused for disputed polls in December.
He appealed to media practitioners to, in the exercise of their gate-keeping role, emulate the proverbial linguists and refine the inflammatory language of politicians to avoid inflaming passions. He commended the Methodist Church for the initiative and pledged the GJA’s resolve to support the move.
Prof. Oquaye said Ghana’s democracy was nowhere near instances where people would call for power sharing, adding that “we must not allow the power-sharing phenomenon because it is dangerous. We must stand by the principle of democracy”.
Other speakers who called for decent language and free, fair and transparent elections were Mr Justice V. C. R. A. C. Crabbe, Rev Dr Fred Deegbe, the General Secretary of the Christian Council, and Nii Okaika III, who represented the Ga Mantse.
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