The United Kingdom (UK) government says it will consider refusing or revoking visas to persons who engage in or incite political violence ahead of the 2016 polls on December 7. According to a statement signed by the Jon Benjamin, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, the UK is alarmed about recent incidents of political violence in Ghana in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections.
Below is the full statement;
The British Government expresses its concern at recent incidents of political violence in Ghana in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December.
We condemn all violent acts by the supporters of any political party, including any occurring as a result of holding electoral campaign events close to the private homes of rival candidates.
The UK is a great supporter of Ghana’s democracy and of maintaining its electoral record. We admire the open and energetic nature of its campaigns. We believe that violence has absolutely no place in the electoral process.
We therefore call on all Ghana’s political actors to promote peace, and to respect Ghana’s electoral and constitutional processes. All political parties should strongly urge their supporters to refrain from, and indeed actively to condemn, any violence, incitement or intimidation which only serve to undermine democracy.
The UK reserves the right to take action against anyone engaging in or inciting political violence, including considering refusing or revoking visas.
The UK will continue to work with Ghanaian institutions, including the Electoral Commission, Police, Judiciary, National Peace Council, civil society groups and the media to support Ghana’s efforts to hold credible, peaceful and fair elections. The UK remains entirely neutral in those elections.
Earlier yesterday, the US also issued out a statement to condemn electoral violence in the country. They also stated that they will deny all individuals who are involved in electoral violence visas to travel to the US
With this statement, we sure hope that all those who will want to travel to the United Kingdom and the United States anytime soon will do well to stay away from any public riot.