The Progressive People’s Party [PPP] has said leaders who profit from electoral violence must be held liable for acts of their hirelings.
In a release to the press on Sunday, National Chairman of the PPP, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond said that to find a lasting solution to election-related violence in Ghana, “our advocacy must now be aimed at having leaders of sponsoring political parties held vicariously liable for any violence their hirelings unleash on fellow citizens.”
“We are absolutely convinced that it is the desire to win elections by hook or crook that leads to the forming and or hiring of the services of vigilante groups to perpetuate the election-related violence, we continue to see in Ghana.”
“We must not allow political leaders who win elections through violence, to get away unpunished. We should have the outcomes of such elections annulled and the beneficiaries disqualified from contesting future elections to serve as a deterrent,” he said.
The statement from the PPP is coming on the back of a direction from the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, to the Attorney General, Gloria Akufo to present to Parliament a bill to be passed into law outlawing party militialism.
Party militialism has been in the news for the wrong reasons especially in the wake of the January 31 Ayawaso by-elections that turned violent.
But the PPP wants the existing laws, which criminalises those who benefit from electoral violence, to be enforced.
“Under section 20(1) of the Representation of the People Law, 1992 (PNDCL 284), the election of a candidate shall be declared void on an election petition if a high court is satisfied:
(a) “That general bribery, general treating, general intimidation or other misconduct or circumstances, whether similar to those specified in the law or not, have so extensively prevailed that they may reasonably be supposed to have affected the result of the election,” the statement added.
The PPP further proposed that amendments to the appointing processes of the Inspector General of Police and the Electoral Commission can stem the tide of violence in our politics.
On the IGP they claimed the President, instead of appointing, should nominate the IGP for two-thirds majority approval by Parliament.
“That way, he or she becomes everyone’s IGP and not the President’s IGP,” the statement said.
On the appointment of EC Chair and Commissioners, the PPP proposed the Kenyan model which includes; advertisements placed in the media inviting applications for the position and applicants taken through an interviewing process with a panel made up of political party representatives like Ghana’s IPAC, CSOs, Judiciary and the legislature etc.
The process also includes interviewing process televised live to make it open and transparent with the final analysis, 11 names (Two for chairperson and nine for members) submitted to the President for nominations.
The President then (nominates one chairperson of the two and six members of the nine) for vetting and approval by parliament before appointments are made.
In concluding the statement said, “while we consider the Kenyan process of appointment for the future, the EC, as the election management body, should work to come off the perception held or being created by some stakeholders that it is working in the interest of the party in power.”