‘Use of force to supervise elections at local level untenable’

Professor Kwesi Aning,the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), has advised against the use of force to supervise elections at the local level.

Prof. Aning intimated that heavy military presence during such elections was a threat to and a recipe for the subversion of the country’s democracy adding that “using weapons of violence or threatening to use them if and when necessary, hollows out the processes, our institutions and makes it easy for subversion.

Prof. Aning made the comment as part of discussions on the release of a photo in which persons believed to be members of the Juaben Municipal Assembly are seen kneeling before the chief.

Initial reports indicated that the assembly members were asked to kneel on orders of the chief of the community and apologise for failing to approve the President’s Municipal Chief Executive nominee but later Emmanuel Gallo, Assembly member for the Nobowan Electoral Area refuted the claim.

Prof. Aning warned that “democracy works best when it is not threatened or coerced but it dies when under the guise of performing our democratic responsibilities, institutions and individuals are coerced or threatened to function in a particular way and make particular decisions that are undemocratic but are clothed in the garb of democracy which is a very dangerous and slippery road”.

He questioned the motive for dispatching armed men to supervise local elections which threatened democratic dispensation and does not inure to building strong, independent, functional democratic institutions and in cases where there had been slippage, it had not ended well.

“We should begin processes of allowing elections at local level to progress openly and transparently for those who are elected will be accountable to the people,” Prof. Aning said.

Mr Gallo disclosed that assembly members of the Juaben Municipal Assembly felt compelled to approve the President’s Municipal Chief Executive nominee, Alex SarfoKantanka, after heavy deployment of armed police and military to the election centre on October 29.–myjoyonline.com

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