Former President Jerry John Rawlings has charged all the political and stakeholders to respect the Electoral commission’s mandate by the constitution.
Mr. Rawlings apparently has said this at the 41st-annviersary celebration of the June 4, 1979, uprising.
“Ladies and gentlemen, our democracy is borne out of fire and we must dearly and compassionately protect its flames. One of the key institutional arms of this democratic discourse from pre-colonial to modern-day Ghana is the protection of right and choice. We must endeavour, as a nation, to deepen the spirit of the consultative process, equity, respect for the rule of law or in simple terms, the tenet of democracy and multiparty democracy”, Mr Rawlings said told his virtual audience.
The EC, “which is the fulcrum of our multiparty democracy”, he noted, “must be supported and protected by all stakeholders; to ensure a free and fair election and a peaceful society”.
“That notwithstanding”, Mr Rawlings pointed out, “it is equally important for that revered institution, EC, to ensure that the processes leading to this year’s elections are done in consultation with the stakeholders of the nation; to prevent unnecessary suspicion, and promote a peaceful and cohesive society”.
“An election is an event but, building a democratic, free and peaceful society is a process so the debate surrounding the new voter’s register must be thoroughly examined so we do not undermine the successes we have chalked so far, as a nation”.
“In addition, the constitutional mandate of the Electoral Commission must be respected by all. While we work towards perfecting our electoral process, I urge you all to pursue and sustain our uniqueness as a country in the democratisation process”, he said.
According to him, “The sanctity of the right of choice is not a matter we can compromise with. That sanctity must be preserved at all cost and as we inch towards November let us ensure that the institutional processes are transparent and beyond blemish”.
“Freedom and justice is not abstract”, he observed, adding: “It is very much related to the sanctity of the right of choice. Those who are eligible to exercise that right of choice should not and cannot be disenfranchised by dictates that defeat one’s right to vote”.
“The sanctity of justice should be preserved and protected with all of us being subject to the practice of what is just. An unjust society deepens the inequities that exist”.
“The patriotic zeal that gave birth to June 4 is one that cannot be extinguished. Any attempt to compromise on the ideals of probity, accountability and integrity in our everyday lives is an attempt to snuff out the light that was lit 41 years ago. Let us honour the memories of those who laid down their lives liberating Ghana”, he noted.