Since Ghana returned to multiparty democracy in 1992, the country has witnessed seven peaceful elections and seamless handover of power, making her a beacon of peace in the sub-region, Africa and the world at large.
The Ghanaian Times has no doubt that the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, which are the eighth in the 28-year history of the Fourth Republic, would follow the same sequence.
However, this would not be a walk in the park as it would require the commitment of political actors, especially the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the two dominant political parties in the country.
If they truly have the interest of the country at heart and want to accelerate its development, political leaders and all stakeholders must go all out to ensure the elections are devoid of any violence.
This includes making sure that their followers see the elections as a contest of ideas and not a competition over who is more violent. That should not be allowed to dent the reputation of the country.
Unfortunately, it appears violence is creeping into our democratic regime as the December 7 elections draw closer.
Even though the country has witnessed some political tensions in the past, we must quell the current one just as we have done in the past.
Last Sunday’s clash between supporters of the NDC and NPP at Jamestown in the Odododiodoo Constituency, which left about 10 of them injured, was uncalled for and we condemn it.
It is unfortunate that this event came two days after Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, United Nations (UN) Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, had led a joint high-level mission from the UN and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to prompt Ghana about free and fair elections come December 7.
According to Dr Chambas, who led the delegation to the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, last Friday, the visit was to remind Ghanaians of the need to support peaceful, inclusive, transparent and credible general election.
He said the joint mission had been touring nations in the sub-region, which were scheduled to hold elections between now and the close of the year, and was “in Ghana to remind citizens of the impeccable records they had set for themselves in the conduct of credible elections.”
Since their arrival, he said, they had met with the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), national executives of both the NPP and the NDC , the National Peace Council, National Commission for Small Arms and Light Weapons and other relevant stakeholders at a forum in Accra.
This should tell us that all eyes from all over the world are monitoring events in the country and we have a duty to protect our international image and uphold our democratic credentials.
When we go to the polls on December 7, we should not only vote for our preferred candidate but also our conduct should be a vote for peace as that is the only way the country would remain the beacon of hope.