The Civic Forum Initiative and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) have called on the governing New Patriotic Party and the opposition National Democratic Congress to cease fire and show good faith in the proposed dialogue aimed at ending political vigilantism in the country.
The call comes at a time when the NDC and President Nana Akufo-Addo are embroiled in a war of words over the scope of participation and the need for an independent facilitator for the dialogue.
Addressing a joint news conference in Accra Tuesday, March 12, the Civic Forum Initiative and CODEO advised the two main political parties to desist from publicizing their correspondence with the President in the media.
While the President believes both parties can successfully meet to find ways of disbanding vigilante groups, the NDC is certain that the dialogue must be moderated by a mediator.
President Akufo-Addo in a response to an earlier letter by the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, rejected calls for third parties such as the National Peace Council to mediate the talks saying the two dominant parties must have the capacity to resolve issues that concerns the two parties.
But the NDC in a response stated that “Our attempt at a solution that goes beyond the legal process would be of interest to institutions involved in ensuring peaceful development across Africa. These include ECOWAS, the AU and various UN agencies. Ghana is a member of these bodies and is entitled to call on their resources to assist in resolving critical problems.
“This is not in any way a surrender of our sovereignty or a declaration of a lack of faith in our own abilities. We see it rather as an act of responsible regional and international citizenship and transparency.”
Addressing the press Tuesday, the civil organisations stated that allowing just the two political parties to dialogue on how to end vigilantism might end in a failure.
“In the past, mutual suspicion and mistrust between the two parties have led to the failure of political dialogues in Parliament, during post-election transitions, and in the drafting and amendment of the Constitution.
“This has been the case in almost all national endeavors which have required the collaboration of the two parties for success. This historical evidence suggests that approaching the political dialogue bilaterally…is more likely to lead to failure…We believe that the CSOs with competence, integrity, and proven track records could engage to support this process,” the groups said.