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Ghana seeks legislation to criminalise political vigilantism

To curb the spate of political violence in the country, a Bill intending to criminalise and punish perpetrators of political vigilantism has been brought before the Parliament of Ghana.

The Bill was presented before the Parliament by the Attorney General of the Republic, Gloria Akuffo.

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The Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill. 2019, which was brought under a certificate of urgency, seeks jail term for both perpetrators and sponsors of political violence.

Commenting on the significance of the bill at an event, President Nana Akufo-Addo affirmed that it was pertinent to preserve the country’s democracy from desperate politicians.

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“We are not going to allow Ghanaian politics, Ghanaian democracy, to be compromised by these acts of violence.

“There is no need to intimidate people into voting for you. The people themselves will rally together to vote for you. That’s what we want to see here in Ghana. Peaceful, free elections. If you are going to rely on violence and bloodshed, then it would appear that you are not the one the people want,” he admonished. The Ghanaian Leader maintained that persons who engage in political vigilantism and their patrons shall be prosecuted, regardless of their positions in the society.

“Not only the people who are inciting the violence will be punished, but also powerful people behind them will face the full extent of the law.

“Once Parliament Passes through this bill, every one involved in vigilantism will face the law whether you are a Minister, Regional Minister, MP or not, once you are implicated,” he warned.

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