Include ADR in electoral process – Owusu-Koranteng                                               

Ahead of the upcoming general elections, the Ghana National Association of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practitioners (GNAAP), have underscored the need to include ADR in the country’s electoral process.

According to GNAAP, including ADR in the country’s electoral process would help in addressing some of the conflicts that often occurred before, during, and after elections.

Speaking at its 11th annual general conference in Accra over the weekend,  the President of GNAAP, Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, said, “ There is no doubt that our people are still adjusting to the historical change in our social and political structure.”

“It is our strong belief that ADR, which is premised on our historical principles of reconciliation and peace-building, is a time-tested social cohesion instrument which must be promoted as of our electoral culture to avoid occurrences of conflicts that have become associated with our elections,” Mr Owusu-Koranteng explained.

The conference was on the theme, “Strengthening Ghana’s Democracy through Dialogue and Inclusiveness; The role of ADR,” and had a total number of 77 new members inducted into the Association.

The inducted members were led by the Patron, Mr Alex Nartey, to swear the oath of allegiance and membership.

Mr Owusu-Koranteng further advised political activists and candidates to be united by the desire to ensure that this year’s elections united the citizenry and strengthen the country’s resolve to harness the national resources to promote national development.

He also said GNAAP expected this year’s elections to be conducted based on the principles of transparency, free and open access to voting, impartiality, secret ballot, and universal adult suffrage.

Additionally, GNAAP, Mr Owusu-Koranteng indicated, was ready to provide free conflict resolution services during and after this year’s elections, for speedy resolution of conflicts and to collaborate with institutions such as the National Peace Council (NPC), the Judicial Service, and electoral institutions.

The Executive Secretary of the NPC and guest speaker for the occasion, Mr George Amoh, noted that the mandate of NPC was not different from that of GNAAP, which included conflict resolutions.

He explained that the NPC, in its quest to ensure peaceful elections had undertaken a number of proactive measures, including engagement with various stakeholders as the Inspector General of Police, leadership of the various political parties, the Electoral Commission, and the owners of media houses.

He added that the NPC had set up a committee to “monitor political utterances and commentaries” and planned to set up situation rooms in five locations of the country.

According to him, the provision of the free ADR service by GNAAP during the elections was a step in the right direction as the NPC had over 300 cases across the country, but did not have the money to recruit mediators to assist in the resolution of conflicts.

The Chairperson for the occasion, the Adontenhene of Adomfe, Nana Barfi I, in his closing remarks urged participants to be advocates of peaceful conflict resolutions.


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