By Rita Murphy
This article was first published in our Oct-Dec 2012 “Around Africa” newsletter
The Ghana Conference on Religion and Peace (GCRP) called on stakeholders of the general elections to ensure that peace prevailed during the elections. Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference and Chairperson of the GCRP, made the call recently at the final meeting with political party leaders and the electoral commission at the National Catholic Secretariat in Accra.
The GCRP comprises the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference; the Christian Council of Ghana; the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council; the National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches; the Federation of Muslim Councils; Office of the National Chief Imam; Ah-madiyya Muslim Mission; Council of Independent Churches; The Eminent Persons Group of the Christian Council of Ghana along with other stakeholders.
Bishop Osei-Bonsu said the meeting agreed that the Security Services were important in these elections and recommended that security personnel and other election officials should be known in accordance with the law before the elections and provided with tags for easy identification.
On rejected ballots, Bishop Osei-Bonsu said the meeting urged the electoral commission and the Security Services to ensure that steps were taken to reduce them to the barest minimum.
At its earlier meetings, The GCRP called on Ghanaians, the religious community and civil society to support with prayer all efforts at ensuring peace and stability in the country. They said of acknowledging the role of religious leaders in promoting and sustaining peace, “we are taking steps to contribute to efforts by other interest groups to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections in Ghana.”