The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) wishes to express its utter dismay at the high level of violence that characterised the recently ended by-elections that took place on Thursday, 31st January 2019, in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency.
In a statement signed by Rita Kusi Kyeremaa, Executive Director of GFD and
copied to Newsghana.com.gh, it stated that, “Since 2008, GFD has observed with keen interest the seeming and braising manner in which such excessive violence has become a major feature of most by-elections organised in the country.
Such violence has always had the strongest of tendencies to prevent certain vulnerable groups including Persons with Disabilities from coming out to participate in the election process.
It becomes worse in the case of a Person with Disability who is mainly dependent on the services of aids that ought to assist such persons to a voting centre.
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana guarantees every citizen of Eighteen (18) years and above the right to vote and we take a strong view of any acts or omission that has the tendency to prevent and deny, especially, Persons with Disabilities the right to vote.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in article 29 (A) (III), and (B) emphasizes the need for signatories to the Convention to ensure that Persons with Disabilities are guaranteed a free environment within which they will be able to participate in decision-making processes such as elections.
However, Ghana’s major political parties, security agencies and the Electoral Commission of Ghana are yet to succeed in working together to ensure that violence of such high nature that tends to prevent some categories of voters from coming out to vote in elections are eliminated.
Therefore, we condemn the violence that characterised the recently ended by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency and the comments from some leading political figures the potential to fuel more of such violence in subsequent elections.
We call upon Ghana’s elections management body the Electoral Commission of Ghana, the security services and the leadership of leading political parties to come together and find an amicable solution to this menace by ensuring that the perpetrators of those acts are made to face the full rigours of the laws of Ghana to serve as a deterrent to all criminally minded citizens of the Republic of Ghana.
It is our belief that all hands will come on deck to guarantee that this seemingly creeping canker is eliminated from future elections.”