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Tackling political vigilantism: Let’s have multi-stakeholder dialogue – CSOs

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have called on government to resort to a multi-stakeholder engagement to address the growing cases of violent political vigilantism.

They include Office of the Chief Imam, Civic Forum Initiative (CFI), Coalition of Domestic Observers (CODEO), Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Ark Foundation, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), and  Star Ghana among others.

In a communiqué issued after a consultative meeting in Accra yesterday, they said a successful dialogue towards ending the menace could be achieved if all groups and organisations were involved in tackling political vigilantism.

“In the past, mutual suspicion and mistrust between the two parties have led to the failure of political dialogues in parliament, during post-election transitions, and in the drafting and amendment of the constitution. This has been the case in almost all national endeavours which have required the collaboration of the two parties for success. The historical evidence suggests that approaching the political dialogue bilaterally between the two parties is more likely to lead to failure,” it said.

The communiqué which was read by Dr Mrs Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, Executive Director of Ark Foundation, stated that the political dialogue was central to reforming and strengthening the security of the nation and could not be allowed to fail.

The CSOs, it said were ready and prepared to offer their competence to support the dialogue process to find an enduring and amicable solution to the recurring threat to the country’s democracy, peace and security.

They argued that the recent expose of the “leaked tape” of the alleged pronouncements of the chairman of the National Democratic Congress and the operations of De-Eye Group had heightened public anxiety and fear, raising doubts about the sincerity and commitment of the two political parties to dialogue.

This, the statement said did not bode well for a quick start of the all-important dialogue required to bring an end to political vigilantism.

In this regard, they called on the two political parties to formally dissociate themselves from political vigilantes and recommit themselves to fight against electoral violence, impunity and injustice.

“We further call on the two parties to desist from publication of their correspondence with the President and among themselves and the media, for this will go a long way in enhancing the environment needed,” it added.

According to them, failure to comply with this would affect the stability of the country’s democracy, peace and security as 2020 elections approaches.

Commending the President for his firm stand in the fight, they further urged him to commit the necessary resources to help efforts to clamp down political vigilantism.

BY ALLIA NOSHIE AND FREDERICK GADESE-MENSAH

CAPTION; Some representatives at the meeting

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