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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called for a law to “explicitly bar for life anyone guilty of electoral-law violations–including hate speech and violence before, during and after the general elections from being elected to or appointed to public office.”
“Inciting or perpetrating election-related violence should also be included in the constitution as an explicit stand-alone ground for the impeachment of elected officials.”
In a statement on Sunday by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said that, “Election-related violence is a very serious problem and it really is something we need to look at in a number of ways. Barring from public office those found guilty of violence is perhaps one of them.”
“It’s patently wrong to allow anyone guilty of hate speech and violence around elections to occupy public office. It shouldn’t matter what political party those complicit in these crimes are from. If they have got that kind of charge against them, and they have been convicted, they should surrender the right to hold public office,” the organization said.
The organisation said that, “Allowing an elected or appointed official with election-related violence charges to continue to serve demeans the office and sends the message that such behaviour is acceptable.”
“Those who incite and perpetrate violence around elections clearly serve private interests at the public’s expense because innocent citizens are the ultimate victims. If we don’t address violence around elections squarely, we can’t build a strong and participatory democratic process and a law-based society. Barring those responsible for violence from public office should therefore be at the foundation of the architecture of our electoral process,” the organization also said.
Ban politicians who promotes violence – SERAP