Report shows grassroots engagement can end political vigilantism and electoral violence

A Research by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD), supported by the United Nations Development Planning (UNDP) indicates that decisions taken at the top level of the political parties management must reach the grassroots, and if well absorbed, will minimize the rate of political vigilantism and violence during elections.

The research findings presented with additional with documentary premiere on political vigilantism and electoral violence identified some of the problems as unemployment, poverty, politicization of chieftaincy disputes and lack of trust in state institutions.

This was revealed at a national dialogue with Multi-stakeholders organized by the UNDP to identify ways and solutions to tackle political vigilantism and electoral violence in the country.

The Acting Residents Representative of the UNDP, Silke Hollander, recognized the peace Ghana currently enjoys and urged all stakeholders to work towards strengthening the country’s peace architecture.

“If Ghana will maintain its push towards creating a resilient and robust economy to propel national development, then we need to give due consideration to dealing with the menace of vigilantes and their related activities particularly on electoral violence”, Silke Hollander stated.

She emphasized that there is the need to call for proper grassroot engagement that would ensure ending of political vigilantism and electoral violence because those threats mostly originate from that level, stating that, it would lead to the promotion of free and fair elections.

The Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the CDD Ghana, Dr. Kojo Asante, emphasized the importance of maintaining peace in the country.

“It is important to maintain Ghana’s democratic reputation and stability within the West African Sub-region by ensuring that the country’s good governance, rule of law, national security and renowned peace architecture are not threatened by the increasing persistent act of political vigilantism,” he added.

The study forms part of activities under a UNDP and CDD-led Multi Stakeholder Consultative Platform on Peace and Governance.

The findings provided recommendations on what needs to be done at the community level to promote peaceful elections and address political vigilantism, among others.

Key discussions and suggestions included continuous inter-party dialogues and sensitization, creation of sustainable jobs for the youth, strengthening the capacity of polling agents on electoral laws and resourcing the National Peace Council and National Commission for Civic Education at the district level.

Source: Eric Nii Sackey || [email protected]

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