A former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has emphasised the need for an improvement in the conduct of elections in the country although past elections had been relatively peaceful.

He made the call when he delivered a peace lecture organised by the Akuapem Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana at Nsukwao, a suburb of Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

He said foreign observers such as the European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and CODEO, among others, which witnessed previous elections, had described elections in Ghana as relatively peaceful.

He said when compared with other elections elsewhere in Africa such as Senegal and DR Congo, however, it may not be the best, hence the need for improvement in the nation’s electoral process.

Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong, who is also a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), said Ghana’s democracy must mature.

He indicated that the country’s democracy in general was being monetised, making it very difficult for the electorate to choose competent leaders to lead the country, adding that democracy is too expensive.

He called on all political parties to exercise caution and respect in their conduct during the electioneering campaign so as to maintain peace before, during and after the December 7 polls.

He reminded both politicians and stakeholders of the need to curb the disturbing trend of political violence associated with past elections. With regard to voters, he said they should be discerning,  and vote for the best candidate without taking into consideration any financial or material gains.

He stated that the 2024 elections presents a significant opportunity to reverse the violent patterns witnessed during previous elections.

He appealed to political leaders to ensure that the forthcoming elections were conducted in a violence-free manner, stressing the importance of peaceful conduct in preserving the country’s democratic integrity.

For his part, the Chairperson of the Akuapem Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Ebenezer Acheampong, said the role of the church in ensuring a peaceful elections could not be underestimated and that was why the church organised the event.

He stated that a peaceful election is a collective responsibility of the public, including stakeholders such as the Clergy.

Rev. Asiedu also called on political party leaders to engage in respectful and issue-based campaigns to avoid inflammatory rhetoric that could incite or perpetuate violence.

He urged Ghanaians to do away with partisan differences, and rather unite in safeguarding the nation’s peace and democracy during the electioneering period.

The chief of Akwadum, Nana Osei Owusu Agyapong ll, commended the church for organising such events, and called on other religious institutions to emulate it. He also called on the youth not to be involved in negative acts that would mar the December 7 polls.