Mr. Emmanuel Bombande, peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and development expert has indicated that the country will not be able to cope with election violence especially in an era where the nation is dealing with a global pandemic.
According to him, the 2020 general election is peculiar to 2016, 2012, and 2008 general elections being conducted as the nation struggled within its means to conduct these elections peacefully.
His comment is born out of the violence characterised with the voter registration exercise at some registration centres across the country, resulting in the death of a young man in Banda Constituency and a shooting incident at a registration centre in Kasoa in the Central Region.
Speaking in an interview with JoyNews, Mr. Bombande reminded that the nation is trying to conduct credible and peaceful 2020 general elections in an environment of a global pandemic of which the country and the world at large is struggling to find a solution to address it.
“. . Ghana cannot cope with election violence on top of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. That is why election 2020 will be different from 2016, 2012, 2008 precisely because in these other elections we struggled within our means to conduct peaceful elections,” he said.
Bombande however made it clear that the capacity to make the 2020 elections peaceful rest in the hands of every Ghanaian and all the stakeholders in the elections.
To him, the 2020 general elections may not be classified as credible if they are characterised with violence; thus, it will take Ghanaians to bring about peace as it does not matter what the Electoral Commission (EC) can do and how successful its work is evaluated.
“We might not have been the ones who brought about the pandemic, but we are the ones who can bring about the peace and that is why it doesn’t matter what the Electoral Commission (EC) can do, it does not matter how we evaluate their success, the elections will not be credible if they are also violent,” he mentioned.
“So, for the elections to be credible, they must also be peaceful. So every stakeholder must be involved; the voices of citizens, women organizations, political parties, and the interest of Ghana first above everything else is most important today than ever before,” he stressed.