Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), says that during elections, perpetrators enjoy widespread impunity in as they perpetuate violence and other criminal and electoral offenses because the deterrence systems don’t work.
He said the low levels of confidence in punitive institutions’ abilities to hold people accountable stem from a general belief in official indifference to tackling electoral crimes.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday, Akwetey said that this inaction on the part of the authorities has encouraged lawlessness as offenders are confident that they will get away with any infraction they commit.
“The system of deterrence appears to have broken down and people feel they can take the law into their own hands and do whatever because nothing would happen to them,” he stressed.
The fear that this widespread impunity, left unchecked, could plunge the nation into anarchy as Ghana prepares for elections, has prompted IDEG to hold a meeting where the presidential candidates and other stakeholders can reaffirm their commitment to peaceful elections, Akwetey said.
The goal, he said, is to get political leaders to commit to bring to justice the perpetrators of violence and other electoral crimes during the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, “so that we can end this culture of impunity which is encouraging electoral violence and injustice and in fact undermining the peace and stability of this country.”