UK, US condemn political violence in Ghana, caution trouble makers

Two of Ghana’s major allies, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA) have condemned recent political violence between the two main parties – the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) ahead of the December 7 elections. Both nations have cautioned persons who may insight violence before, during and after the elections indicating that they reserve the right to revoke or refuse visas to such persons. Below are the statements of both nations. British High Commission Accra’s statement on peaceful elections in Ghana The British Government expresses its concern at recent incidents of political violence in Ghana in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December. We condemn all violent acts by the supporters of any political party, including any occurring as a result of holding electoral campaign events close to the private homes of rival candidates. The UK is a great supporter of Ghana’s democracy and of maintaining its electoral record. We admire the open and energetic nature of its campaigns. We believe that violence has absolutely no place in the electoral process. We therefore call on all Ghana’s political actors to promote peace, and to respect Ghana’s electoral and constitutional processes. All political parties should strongly urge their supporters to refrain from, and indeed actively to condemn, any violence, incitement or intimidation which only serve to undermine democracy. The UK reserves the right to take action against anyone engaging in or inciting political violence, including considering refusing or revoking visas. The UK will continue to work with Ghanaian institutions, including the Electoral Commission, Police, Judiciary, National Peace Council, civil society groups and the media to support Ghana’s efforts to hold credible, peaceful and fair elections. The UK remains entirely neutral in those elections. US statement on the Peaceful Electoral Process in Ghana The United States condemns all political violence in Ghana, especially any violent acts directed at political candidates, their homes or families. While campaigns can be vigorous and sometimes contentious, violence has no place in the electoral process. In the period leading up to and following Ghana’s elections on December 7, we call on all actors to remain peaceful and respect the democratic process. We encourage all parties to make it clear to their constituents that any violence or attempts to use intimidation to disrupt the democratic process is unacceptable. The United States will consider all options to hold responsible those who incite political violence, including denying or revoking visas. The United States applauds Ghana’s tradition of peaceful, democratic elections. The international community is working with the Electoral Commission, National and Regional Peace Councils, NGOs, civil society organizations, the media, the police and others to support Ghana’s efforts to hold credible and nonviolent presidential elections. We urge all to participate peacefully in the democratic process—before, during and after Election Day. The government of the United States does not support a particular candidate or a particular party. We support democracy. We will continue to work with the freely elected government of Ghana, just as we always have. By Martin Asiedu-Dartey||Ghana Twitter: @3newsgh


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