Use ADR to resolve disputes – Peace Council urges political parties

The National Peace Council (NPC) has urged political parties to resort to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in resolving their differences instead of opting for acrimonious litigation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day consultation and training programme on ADR for political parties in Accra, the Executive Secretary of the NPC, George Amoh, said apart from being less costly, ADR was the best option for maintaining unity in spite of differences.

According to him, since political parties were creatures of democracy, it was important for them to subscribe to conflict resolution mechanisms that go a long way to deepen the democratic process and preserve unity.



“ADR is very important in conflict resolution and helps to foster and entrench democracy,” he said.

Workshop

The three-day multi-stakeholder consultation and training on ADR for political parties was organised by the NPC in partnership with the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP).

Political parties which attended the workshop were the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention Peoples’Party (CPP), the Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP) and the People National Convention (PNC).

Also in attendance were the Electoral Commission (EC), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and other stakeholders.

The objective of the workshop was to enhance the capacity of election stakeholder’s, especially political parties, to develop sustainable dispute resolution structures to manage disputes and minimise election-related disputes and violence.

It is also intended to create or expand existing infrastructure in target countries, including Ghana, for effectively managing disputes surrounding elections and other democratic processes.

The Executive Director of WANEP, Dr Chukwuemeka Eze, said owing to the volatile nature of the West African sub-region and the propensity for election and political activities to spill into violence, it was extremely important for political actors to embrace ADR.



He noted that electoral and political violence were major factors in political instability which inhibited economic growth, development and left people impoverished.

“Alternative Dispute Resolution or Appropriate Dispute Resolution are measures to resolve the challenges facing political parties to prevent the volatility and instability of the West African subregion which is brought about by election-related issues, ethnicity, religious extremism and intolerance, influx of small arms, among others,” he said.

For his part, the EC Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, lauded the workshop as an important tool to help promote peace and ensuring peaceful elections.

He encouraged political parties to give ADR a chance and use it on a regular basis for their internal and external disputes.


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