Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice V.C.R.A.C Crabbe have spoken out critically about Ghana’s polarised political landscape at a lecture in Accra Thursday, 17th April.
The lecture was on the theme ““Democratic Governance in Ghana: How Political Polarisation may be abated”, and was organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), a think tank that promotes democracy, good governance, and economic openness in Ghana and Africa, in partnership with the Friedrich Nuamann STIFTUNG and Kaiser Permanente Medical Group.
At the lecture to mark 20 years of Ghana’s return to democracy, Justice Crabbe stated, “we are all witnesses to the extreme tensions and sporadic violence in elections and in-between elections, the high levels of acrimony and partisanship which characterise political discourse in our country over the last decade and half”, and fears this can imperil the future of Ghana’s constitutional democracy.
Of deep concern to the former Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman was how New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), the two main political parties in the country, “engage in incessant propaganda… which is beginning to erode public confidence in the democratic confidence”.
According to Justice Crabbe, the “litigious” outcome of the December polls is a clear indication of the country’s polarised landscape.
He stated the time has come to “sound a clarion call, a clear and loud call for a national conversation to reflect on the significant progress this country has made towards institutionalising democracy to turn the increasing and persistent polarisation”.
He reminded Ghanaian political parties that an important part of democracy is political tolerance hence political parties must learn to be tolerant of each other.
Furthermore, “elections are about making choices this assumes electorate is offered the possibilities of making meaningful and informed choices” , said Justice Crabbe.