Ghana’s major political parties, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have pledged to play their respective roles in ensuring peace during and after the Kumawu by-election scheduled for Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
The assurance came after a meeting between the Inspector General of Police, Mr. George Akuffo Dampare, and the leadership of the contesting political parties ahead of the polls.
Speaking at the sidelines of the meeting, the National Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party, Mustapha Abdul Salam, emphasized that the party’s sole focus is on retaining the Kumawu Parliamentary seat and not engaging in violence.
“We don’t go into elections preparing for war, we go into it to win votes and that is the mindset to which we came here. We are coming for ballots and not bullets. Almost everyone is overwhelmed by our campaign and that is because we appreciate the electoral dynamics and appreciate the people of Kumawu. I can assure you that the NPP will not do anything untoward to break the peace in the community nor create violence or tension,” he said.
On the other hand, the National Democratic Congress expressed its commitment to utilizing its internal mechanisms to support the police in effectively discharging their duties during the election.
Joseph Yammin, the National Organiser for the NDC, referenced the infamous Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence and stated that the IGP assured the parties of prevention against a recurrence in the upcoming poll.
He added, “I personally asked whether there will be any joint military police operations in this election and he (the IGP) said no adding that they will do so if the police are overwhelmed. And per the security architecture of the country, they may invite the military but as it stands now, the police service has no plans for such. I also asked whether there will be any deployment of national security operatives because we don’t want to witness what happened at Ayawaso West Wuogon,” he added.
Joseph Yammin further admitted that the Inspector General of Police’s response was convincing but added however that the party will wait till tomorrow to find out if indeed they are committed to their assurance.
Four candidates are vying for the Kumawu parliamentary seat in the by-election following the passing of the incumbent Member of Parliament, Mr. Philip Basoah.
They are Ernest Yaw Anim of NPP, NDC’s Kwasi Amankwaa, and two independent candidates both known as Kwaku Duah.