The Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI)has called on aggrieved parties in the just ended December 7 elections not to engage in violent post-elections protests.
The group said though such demonstrations and protests were within the remits of the 1992 Constitution, aggrieved parties, however needed to exercise discretion to avoid causing mayhem and disorder in exercising those rights.
The group said this at a news conference in Accra on “Matters Arising from the December 7 General Elections and the Urgency for Aggrieved Parties to Remain Calm, Maintain Peace and Resort to the Law for Recourse”.
Dr Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, Steering Committee Member of CFI, who addressed the press, said as aggrieved parties, particularly the National Democratic Congress (NDC), were engaging in demonstrations, they needed to consider seeking redress at the courts, saying, “going to court is not contradictory to peaceful demonstrations.
“As we have stated, carrying out demonstrations and going to court are not mutually-exclusive nor contradictory. Legal recourse may be pursued even as peaceful demonstrations are carried out,” she said.
She said the courts had the mandate to effect necessary changes following their verdicts on election-related disputes.
She stressed that it was important for the NDC to secure police protection and ensure that their demonstrations were not infiltrated by agents of provocation, who may seek to incite acts of violence in the course of otherwise peaceful protests.
Dr Dwamena-Aboagye said the election results sent out a clear message to the two largest political parties from the electorates to work together and not at cross purposes.
“We, therefore, urge the parties to begin to initiate facilitation dialogue right away. This dialogue must seek to decipher and clearly understand the mind of the electorate as reflected in the ‘skirt and blouse’ voting patterns we have witnessed,” she said.
Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance, said the election results expressed the will of the electorate.
He said the parties should make the country’s democracy more inclusive, accountable, “to make our economic development stronger”.