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The Community Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States has attributed major conflict that leads to violence and tensions in some countries in the sub-region to violation of electoral processes in the conduct of elections.
It also noted that these tensions are occasioned by challenges related to non-consensual constitutional reviews, and non-compliance with presidential term limits among others.
Speaker of Ghanaian Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin said this at the ongoing delocalized meeting of ECOWAS Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and Telecommunications and Information Technology, in Ghana.
He said that the refusal to accept election results by sections of the society and the abuse of social media to create tensions and divisions are matters of grave concern.
The Speaker said: “These undoubtedly threaten the progress made in achieving participatory democracy and therefore calls for the strengthening of democratic principles and the institution of agreeable measures to improve the election process and ensure a transparent, free, fair, and peaceful election. There is also the need to adopt mechanisms/frameworks for promoting political dialogue and peacebuilding in such countries”.
Rt. Hon. Bagbin added that there is a need to promote inclusivity and enhance the integrity of the electoral processes by adopting appropriate technologies in the election management process.
“Ghana, for instance, introduced the Biometric Verification Devices, used to capture the biometric details of the electorates to reduce multiple registrations and multiple voting.
Beyond assisting in conflict prevention, participatory data collection, and processing tools, ICT also provides avenues for alternative discourse or community engagement that promote peace and foster non-violent attitudes and behaviors.
“It is encouraging to note that despite the tensions and the violence that characterize the conduct of elections in some countries, electoral candidates who are dissatisfied with either the process or outcome of elections is increasingly resorting to the use of the constitutional courts in those countries to resolve electoral conflicts. Unfortunately, the judicial system in some countries in the sub-region is slow in the administration of justice.  Indeed, the deployment of telecommunication and information technology tools provide the judiciary the opportunity to dispense justice in a more accessible, transparent, efficient, timely, and accountable manner,” he explained.
He concluded that it was for this reason that the Judiciary in Ghana, introduced the Electronic Case Management System to expedite court processes.


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