Talensi by-election Election violence is criminal - Kufuor

There were reports of sporadic shooting during the Talensi by-election

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Former President John Agyekum Kufuor play

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor

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Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has condemned the violent attacks that plagued the Talensi by-election.

He has, therefore, urged the law enforcement agencies to take steps to prevent its recurrence in the country.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in his Accra residence last Thursday, former President Kufuor said he was saddened by the violence that characterised the by-election.

He said anybody perpetrating violence during an election was a thug and criminal.

"The law enforcement agencies should be up and doing so that the bad practice does not triumph," he said.

Election violence in Talensi

Reports from Talensi indicated that there were incidents of violence and firing of gunshots that led to the hospitalisation of some victims and the destruction of vehicles.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr B. T. Baba, a retired Deputy Director General of the Ghana Prisons Service, won the by-election.

Former President Kufuor, who was speaking after receiving a delegation of political parties and governance institutions from Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya, said going to vote was not an act of violence and the vote was supposed to be secret.

Therefore, he said, "If anybody wants to use a gun, a machete or a cutlass, it means that you want to deny me of my birthright. That is unacceptable.

"And when I go to the booth to put my vote there, I am doing it believing it is my power as an individual to get another person to lead us. Parliamentary, presidential or district-level election is the power that is given to the individual to go and work for the nation.

"Anybody perpetuating violence shows that the person does not respect the people," he said.

Vote buying

Former President Kufuor said vote buying should be frowned upon because it was an exploitation of the poor in society.

"Vote-buying is exploiting poverty as a weakness of our people. It is not acceptable," he said.

Former President Kufuor said vote-buying would be reduced or eliminated when the economy improved and offered more jobs to people.

"As the economy gets better, when there is employment and the poverty level is reduced, the average citizen of Ghana will resist it," he said.

Winner takes all

On the question of winner-takes-all in  the country's democratic system, former President Kufuor said the constitutional arrangement was what should be looked at first.

"For instance, I do not believe that the hybrid system is good where ministers are also members of the Legislature. I believe in clear separation of powers so that the Legislature is strengthened," he said.

Former President Kufuor said when the Legislature was empowered to play the watchdog role, "The executive will become more accountable not only to the Legislature but also the people of Ghana."

Source: Graphiconline

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