UK sanctions Ghana political parties over recent of political violence in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections
The United Kingdom government have threatened to deny or revoke visas of Ghanaians who are Ghana political parties members who are found to have engaged in election-related violence ahead of the 2016 polls. The UK government’s warning comes on the back of the recent clash between the incumbent National Democratic (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
A statement from the UK said these sanctions could include the refusal or revoking of visas for anyone engaging in or inciting political violence and thus undermining Ghana’s democracy. In the statement, the British government expressed concern over the recent violent clashes that have occurred in the country ahead of the December 7 polls.
Ghana made headlines over the weekend when a fracas broke out at the residence of the flagbearer of the opposition NPP, Nana Akuffo-Addo. The clash was reportedly between Nana Addo’s security detail and NDC supporters involved in a health walk. There were vague reports regarding the possible perpetrators of the clash.
Though the respective leadership of both parties has condemned the clash, the UK has sanctioned Ghana political parties; urging them to ensure their members avoid acts of violence and promote peace.
Read Full the full statement from the United Kingdom
“The British Government expresses its concern at recent incidents of political violence in Ghana in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December.
“We condemn all violent acts by the supporters of any political party, including any occurring as a result of holding electoral campaign events close to the private homes of rival candidates.
“The UK is a great supporter of Ghana’s democracy and of maintaining its electoral record. We admire the open and energetic nature of its campaigns. We believe that violence has absolutely no place in the electoral process.
“We, therefore, call on all Ghana’s political actors to promote peace and to respect Ghana’s electoral and constitutional processes. All political parties should strongly urge their supporters to refrain from, and indeed actively to condemn, any violence, incitement or intimidation which only serve to undermine democracy.
“The UK reserves the right to take action against anyone engaging in or inciting political violence, including considering refusing or revoking visas.
“The UK will continue to work with Ghanaian institutions, including the Electoral Commission, Police, Judiciary, National Peace Council, civil society groups and the media to support Ghana’s efforts to hold credible, peaceful and fair elections. The UK remains entirely neutral in those elections.”