The chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei has stated that the proliferation of arms, rising levels of alcoholism and drug abuse and a high level of unemployment amongst the youth are the most serious threats to the country’s peace ahead of the December elections.
She revealed that different researches conducted by the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre, the Narcotics Control Board and the EC indicate that the youth – mostly unemployed – are the most vulnerable group in the country and political leaders are likely to use them to foment violence in the upcoming election.
Addressing a colloquium on peaceful elections in Ghana, the EC boss called on the youth of the country to resist all temptations from political leaders to be violent before, during and after the 2016 elections.
According to her, the country’s success chalked over the six successive elections should not be taken for granted, highlighting that the country recorded over 20 electoral conflicts in the limited voter registration exercise leading to an EC office being set ablaze and the destruction of EC materials.
“In Ghana, the history of six successive elections should not lead to complacency,” Mrs. Osei said, adding “there are no victors in chaos, only victims.”
Mrs. Osei also called on political leaders to take blame for the actions of their supporters that could mar the peaceful conduct of elections in the country.
“Today, we want to call on our political leaders to engage their supporters… especially their youth wing to lead the process for a peaceful electoral process. We also call on political party leaders to take responsibility for the actions of their supporters and condemn bad behavior when it occurs.
“As a state institution conducting free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections, we are working very hard at achieving that.”