Resolving Electoral Conflicts via the Inter-Party Dialogue and the Traditional Means using the Eminent Group of Chiefs to Avoid Acrimony and National Tensions after Major Elections in Africa
The budding democracy of Africa that hinges on Universal Adult Suffrage is still battling with acrimonious and tension filled elections. This mostly results in clashes, loss of properties and in many instances deaths. Ghana is regarded as the beacon of Democracy and the lodestar of Africa’s growing democracy. There is a whole lot of mistrust among the Political Actors especially the Major Political Parties with winning advantage. In most instances, the Electoral Commission is seem as the Golden Pot of rigging machinery by the Opposition Party but largely hailed and endorsed by the Party in power. The Key State Actors with the mandate to ensure proper peaceful and harmonious settlement of inter-party disunity are equally tainted and under-resourced. The National Peace Council, Ghana Journalists Association, Ghana Bar Association, Christian Council of Ghana, Eminent Group of Personalities under the Electoral Commission, Inter Party Advisory Committee all comes in with some tilted posture. The Court System through the trial mechanism is also seen as an appendage of the appointing authority that is the Party in Power. This leaves a difficult moment of who should we trust. Research by the EU-Observation Mission Group in 2020 established that the Traditional Authority is seen by many as the last hope in building the pillars of trust among the key Political Parties in order to ensure a peaceful conflict resolution. Ghana currently is under a 4th Republic and has witnessed 8 Major Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. These Elections have been characterized by tension and in some instances end up that the Courts. The Courts in the minds of many is not there for ‘’Truth-Telling’’ but in many instances the strict application of the law. This does not promote harmonious cooperation and has left many with the assumption that for better settlement, the Court System is not an option. Some do even believe that verdicts are mostly known before trial commences. The clarion call using our Traditional Set ups in resolving electoral conflicts is to avert the possibility of winner takes all and promote all-inclusiveness. This study is geared towards establishing the veracity of this notion whether the Traditional Institutions present a more better medium to resolving Electoral Disputes than our Court Systems.
Keywords - Beacon of Democracy; Budding Democracy; Lodestar of Africa’s Growing Democracy; Rigging Machinery; Universal Adult Suffrage;