The leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Asawase Constituency have signed an agreement to commit to peace before, during, and after the 2020 general elections.
NDC executives who were reluctant in signing the agreement cited alleged bias on the part of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Police during the just ended Voter Registration Exercise.
According to them, a supposed National Security Officer who allegedly pulled a gun and threatened a police officer during the Voter Registration Exercise has still not been arrested by the police.
The executives also raised concerns over alleged intimidation of their members during the exercise which they say happened in the full glare of the police.
The National Peace Council after deliberations with the leadership of the NDC and NPP as well as traditional and religious leaders in the Asawase Constituency issued a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to get both parties to commit to peace ahead of the 2020 polls.
The meeting by the mediation committee of the National Peace Council was to get both parties to agree not to use internal party security groups to provide security to their leaders during political activities.
The agreement was backed by ACT, 999 of the Vigilantism, and Related Offences ACT, 2019.
While the NPP outrightly signed the agreement, the NDC delayed in the signing to make further consultation.
Asawase Constituency Chairman for the NPP, Mohammed Imoro signed the agreement on behalf of his party and pledged to ensure peace before, during, and after the 2020 polls.
The executives later signed the agreement and however said they can only commit fully to a peace pact ahead of the elections if the Electoral Commission and the Police are fair in discharging their duties.
Asawase Constituency Treasurer for the NDC, Faisal Dauda said the party was committed to peace and will do whatever to ensure the upcoming elections is a peaceful one.
“To make it short, we signed the MoU based on conditionality that if the police will appear as political agents, we will not agree, it meant the agreement will not be necessary again”, he explained.
Manhyia Divisional Police Commander, ACP Kwaku Buah who was part of the meeting assured both parties that police will remain fair in the discharge of their duties and serve the national interest.
Chairman of the National Peace Council Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante addressing the meeting emphasized that both parties ensure peace in the constituency since what unites them is bigger than what divides them.
“At the end of the day, we felt that there will be a need for them to commit themselves to write. So that at least it will remind them that they have committed themselves that”, he said.
Professor Asante indicated that all the stakeholders in the constituency are yearning for peace and the leadership of the parties in the area must also demonstrate their commitment to peace.
The Peace Council hinted that it was preparing to meet parliamentary candidates of the NPP and NDC in the constituency to deliberate with them on the need to commit to peace and also get them to pledge their commitment ahead of the 2020 polls.