By Lizzy Okoji
Ghana’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) George Dampare has advised politicians in ECOWAS countries to accept the results at the end of the elections in order to prevent violence that leads to political instability.
Dampare gave his advice on Friday during the panel discussion on “Inclusive and peaceful security forces and democratic elections in the consolidation of the ECOWAS region”, during the high level seminar of the ECOWAS Parliament underway in Winneba , in Ghana.
It is also because IGP Dampare instructed the electoral commissions of the member states to organize credible elections to prevent candidates from doubting the results and the results.
Dampare warned politicians against staying in power through thick and thin, adding that the phenomenon is the main reason for the post-election violence that has led to political instability in some countries in the sub-region.
“I will urge politicians in the ECOWAS sub-region, and you parliamentarians to always accept the results to avoid any form of crisis or violence.
“Clinging to power as if it were do or die created a great challenge. Losing the election is not the end of the world.
“It is better to let go of the power that will destroy your country because there will always be another opportunity,” said the police chief.
Dampare said that all actors involved in the electoral process have a role to play in ensuring the peaceful and credible conduct of the elections, urging them to shoulder their responsibilities.
He added that once all actors carry out their responsibilities effectively, security arrangements during elections will not be so necessary.
“All the players have a role to play for a peaceful election, and they are all aware of their responsibilities.
“If the political parties, the candidates, the electoral commissioner and his officers carry it out, then we will come to a point where the security arrangements during the elections will become moot.
“This will be the point where we say that we have matured as a democratic country and a democratic sub-region.
“But if we continue to depend on the security agencies to give you hope for a successful election, then our democracy is still in its infancy.
“We have to get to the point where elections will be held without thinking about security and we will get there,” Dampare said.
Sierra Leone’s IGP Ambrose Sovula also urged political office holders to serve their constituents very well to avoid using fraudulent means to retain power at all costs.
Sovula said politicians who serve their electorate well would always have an express victory at the polls without fear.
He also called on the ECOWAS Parliament to make arrangements for maintaining order at the political level within the parties, adding that the process of selecting candidates at the party level comes with a certain level of crisis. .
The IGP also recommended that political rallies be held in the form of public meetings and not in the streets with gigantic crowds, which makes policing more difficult.
“You need to serve your electorate well so that when it comes time to vote it isn’t a do-or-die issue.
“When you have served your electorate, you don’t have to take it by force and by all means.
“Politics within parties can be addressed by this parliament because those in this parliament are responsible for choosing their presidential candidates.
“They will be able to tell themselves how such processes will not constitute violence.
“Gatherings of political parties, especially large political parties which attract large crowds, are a challenge. I will recommend town hall meetings rather than taking to the streets, ”Soluva said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the high-level meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament is themed “Two Decades of Democratic Elections in ECOWAS Member States: Achievements, Challenges and Way Forward”.
The seminar aims to make recommendations for new frameworks and mechanisms to improve the existing legal, institutional and material frameworks for the conduct of elections in member states.
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