On the occasion of this year’s international day of democracy, which falls on September 15, the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) calls on Ghanaians to remain resolute and committed to fostering an inclusive and democratic society that respects human rights, rule of law and holds its leaders accountable. In our view, it is the most viable path to stability, peace and progress in Ghana.
This year’s celebration on the theme “Democracy and Conflict Prevention” reaffirms the link between effective, accountable and inclusive institutions, and resilient and peaceful societies. Democratic institutions and practices, such as elections, upholding the rule of law, inclusive participatory governance, respect for diversity, are key to preserving peace and stability. This year’s theme is also a stark reminder for us all to remain vigilant in the face of increasing political risks to democracy and the re-emergence of autocratic and authoritarian rule camouflaged by routine elections. Across the continent of Africa, political assault on presidential and constitutional term limits, and recent attacks on the legitimacy of key institutions of democratic governance have created an environment for political instability and conflict.
Fortunately,Ghana, despite its challenges, remains a beacon of multiparty democratic rule on the African continent and has made great strides in developing an institutional infrastructure and practices for conflict prevention and management - which was mirrored in the peaceful resolution of the 2012 presidential election results contestation as well as three successful peaceful transition of political power in the last 23 years. However, democratic consolidation will only occur if citizens and leaders imbibe the tenets of democratic rule and practice in the day to day running of the state.
RELEASED AT 12 NOON, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017