This year’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference has showered charitable words on the Electoral Commission (EC) “for all the measures it has put in place to ensure peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible elections.”
The commendation was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its annual plenary assembly held at Adutor in the Keta-Akatsi Diocese in the Volta Region between November 3 and 13 2020.
The Catholic Bishops noted that the integrity and success of the forthcoming elections depend primarily on the EC. The Conference therefore called on Ghanaians to repose trust and confidence in the work of the EC throughout the period of elections and following the exercise.
To the political parties, the Catholic Bishops appealed to them and their members to avoid temptation of making promises that they know they cannot fulfil. Such promises, the Bishops said, amount to deceiving the people of Ghana, adding “we urge them to avoid hate-filled statements and expressions that elicit revenge and vendetta.”
Party leaders, parliamentary and presidential candidates should, the Bishops demanded, “conduct themselves honourably and to respect their opponents, both in their utterances and actions.”
The Bishops also commended the security agencies for working towards security and peace in Ghana, adding “we are pleased to hear from the Ghana Police Service of their preparedness to ensure an incident-free election.”
The security agencies, the Bishops stated “should discharge their duties with dispatch and without fear or favour. We encourage them and all other security agencies to demonstrate a high sense of professionalism by respecting the rights and dignity of all Ghanaian citizens.”
Continuing, the Conference asked that so-called ‘machomen’ who go about intimidating and brutalising innocent Ghanaians should be dealt with by the appropriate law enforcement agencies by “enforcing to the letter the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019 (Act 999).”
Participation in the political life, in the light of fundamental moral principles, is an essential duty of every Christian and of all people of goodwill, the communiqué pointed out, adding that “we therefore encourage all registered voters to be vigilant as they exercise their franchise.”
By A.R. Gomda