A Senior Political Science lecturer with the University of Ghana has described as disingenuous and hypocritical the practice in which politicians insult each other on public platforms or on live radio but show tolerance when they are not in the eye of the public.
Dr Ransford Gyampo said such practices must be eschewed if Ghana wants to make head way in its quest for peace and political tolerance.
Speaking at the launch of the Political Science Students’ Association (POSSA) week celebration, Monday, Dr Gyampo called on ruling governments and opposition parties to "build bridges of mutual respect and understanding to promote cooperation and consensus on issues of national interest."
The theme for celebration was "Political tolerance: An ideal recipe for democratic consolidation in Ghana."
Dr Ransford Gyampo stated that it is difficult, if not impossible, for people within a community or a country to have the same opinions or share the same philosophy at a given time.
Even in a state of diverse political opinion, the political science lecturer said it is entirely possible for people to have mutual respect for each others' views.
"Tolerance and accommodation requires that we put our personal feelings aside and deal with one another on national issues in the national interest. We need not to be friends. We must however be able to communicate and do business together peacefully to achieve fruitful results," he said.
Dr Gyampo outlined a 12-point guideline in cultivating political tolerance and accommodation.
The guidelines include: "There should be the institutionalization of inter-party dialogue to ensure free communication and interaction such as the platforms created by the IEA-GPPP and IPAC. In this regard, the notion that consorting with members of other parties is a sign of party disloyalty and betrayal should be seen as an anachronistic, crude and very much unrefined political belief or practice."
"We must also recognize that the concept of enemy is a negative and corrosive factor in multi-party politics and that political parties contesting for the mandate of the people are citizens offering their services to the nation, not enemies fighting."
"Democracy and opacity cannot be bed-fellows, hence without necessarily divulging certain national secrets in the interest of national security, there should be free flow of information on all matters of national and public interest to avoid distrust, suspicion, wild speculations and rumour-mongering. What is the state of Ghanas Right to Information Bill?" Dr Gyampo asked.
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