The just-ended voters’ registration exercise witnessed incidents of blatant violations of the country’s election laws.
The politicians who will kill to win elections carried guns to the centres, fired shots and got their pampered hooligans in their usual criminal acts with impunity.
They ignored the civilized peaceful lawful challenge process and resorted to brute force in preventing people they perceived as unqualified from registering.
They broke the residency requirements of the law and bussed people from especially strongholds to register in constituencies they don’t do well.
In fact, two young men were killed in separate incidents over their heartlessly criminal conduct. Some politicians actually organized parties celebrating their goal of achieving certain number of registered voters in constituencies presently occupied by their opponents.
They are certain of snatching those seats in the December vote. Yes, they were in celebration while those killed were being buried and others remain in pain in hospital or at home praying to survive the injuries suffered.
The ritual criminal acts of impunity will be repeated on Election Day by those hired and encouraged. I know those of you can’t think beyond the ugly partisanship wish I would join you play the ostrich about this at the expense of this country.
You wish I would believe the false proclamations that the hooligans wrongly called party vigilante have been disbanded because of a needless new law against their activities, but which law will not be enforced against them?
By one of the election laws, Representation of the People Law, 1992, the various election offences are generally punished by a fine of up GH₵6,000.00 or plus a maximum of two years in jail, and thereafter a five-year ban from voting in public elections.
The police have always given the excuse that they need some independence to enforce this law because section 42 requires them to obtain a written consent from a partisan Attorney-General to prosecute such offences.
Today, I ask, Mr. IGP, shall we know how many of such cases you have ever sought the AG’s consent to prosecute and didn’t get approval?
The same section says you do not require any consent to arrest violators, with or without a warrant, charge or remand them on bail or in custody.
This year, please arrest and charge offenders and let citizens know the number of offenders you seek the AG’s consent to prosecute. December 7 is not a day of war and you have a duty to let it pass peacefully.
Do your part if you are not minded to resort to other laws including the criminal offences Act which has enough provisions to punish the riotous breach of peace, criminal threats, assault and damage to property for which you don’t need consent to prosecute.
The last thing that must not happen is for citizens to lose faith in the police completely. Act now!
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