A senior research fellow at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr. Kojo Asante has said the decision by both the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) governments’ to deny Ghanaian politicians who indulge in violent acts ahead of the election visas is in order.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Dr. Asante said the decision will serve as deterrent to trouble makers.
The United States Embassy and the British High Commission in Ghana on Monday condemned the violent encounters between some members of the governing National Democratic Congress and the opposition New Patriotic Party in parts of the country.The two governments, through their embassies in Ghana, issued separate statements threatening to sanction persons who engage in violent activities including revoking or denying them visas.
According to the research fellow, the two governments are being proactive.
“This has been following a trend since the post-election debacle in Kenya. I think there’s been particularly among international community a sense of urgency to be more proactive and also to assign personal responsibility. So they are looking at their diplomatic tools and how to effect that.”
“I think they don’t want to wait and speak, they want to signal early on to find a way to constraint some of these actors,” he added.
He explained that usually, some party supporters hide behind party colours to perpetuate violence saying the notice will strip such people bare.
“I think that is important because often people act under the banner of the party and there is no personal responsibility so you can be under that cover but this one you would be identified as was done in the Kenya elections afterwards and then the sanctions would apply to you. So I think that incentive is a very strong one and I’m hoping that it would direct behaviour. But it’s really up to them whether people are really prepared to modify their behaviour with this sort of threat,” he added.