The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has translated provisions in Act 999 of 2019, into Twi and Hausa languages to aid reading and comprehension by the youth.
The aim is to ensure that the Act, which deals with vigilantism and its related offences and sanctions, is easily accessible to the youth of the various political parties to read and understand the ramifications of their actions.
Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah, Programmes Officer of CDD-Ghana, in-charge of Security Sector Governance, said the objective was to encourage the youth of political parties to understand the law and shun political violence in the upcoming general elections.
He was speaking at a ‘Boot Camp’ organized by CDD-Ghana for 30 youth leaders in the NPP and NDC from the Denkyembour, Asawase and Asutifi South constituencies in Kumasi.
It formed part of a comprehensive 2020 elections project rolled out by the CDD-Ghana and the Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO) in collaboration with other partners, to promote peace before, during and after the elections.
He explained that the functionaries of the two leading political parties in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), had been accused of perpetrating violent acts before, during and after elections.
The youth in these parties according to recent research conducted by the Centre were the lead actors of these violent activities.
Nana Aborampah Mensah said this necessitated the CDD-Ghana to translate the Act into local Ghanaian languages which could be read and understood by the majority of the youth to enable them to make informed decisions on any action they would want to take.
He said the activities of political party vigilante groups had in the past led to severe brutalities, resulting in injuries, loss of properties and sometimes deaths, and stressed the need to find ways to stop them.
Nana Aborampah Mensah said while some interventions were completed and produced significant deliverables, gaps remained in the fight against political vigilantism.
“Indeed, there has been little or no action and interventions developed to involve the main actors - political youth leaders and party youth groups in the fight against electoral violence,” he noted.
He observed that these gaps if not resolved, could militate against peaceful elections in 2020.
Nana Aborampah Mensah implored all key stakeholders in the elections such as CSOs, National Peace Council, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Ghana Police Service to collaborate with political parties to create necessary conditions to facilitate inter-party dialogues.