The British government has condemned 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 British High Commission said in a statement a day after supporters of Ghana’s governing National Democratic Congress allegedly threw stones into the residence of the country’s main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, during the party’s Keep Fit event.
“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,” the statement continued, adding: “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 condemn any violence, incitement or intimidation which only serves to undermine democracy.”
The UK threatened to refuse or revoke the visas of anyone that engages in or incites political violence.
The UK noted that it would 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 while remaining entirely neutral.
Meanwhile, the United States has also condemned the violence. “The US is deeply disappointed by the targeting of the home and family of the primary opposition presidential candidate,” Department of State Press Director Elizabeth Trudeau said at the Daily Press Briefing on Monday, November 14, 2016.
“We condemn all violence in Ghana including political violence in the period leading to, during, and immediately following Ghana’s elections scheduled for 7 December. Ghanaians from across the political spectrum have worked hard to build one of the leading democracies in Africa. We call on all Ghanaians to remain peaceful and respect the democratic process.
“We specifically call on candidates, their parties and their supporters to reaffirm their pledges to renounce violence and settle any disputes through the judicial process.”