Recently, Ghanaians returned to the polls for a runoff election after both major presidential candidates failed to gain a majority in last month’s vote. John Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress party narrowly defeated Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party.
Leaders from the United Nations and several countries around the globe congratulated Ghana on the peaceful elections, the country’s second transfer of power between parties since restoring democratic elections in 1992. Some consider Ghana’s elections a model for African democracy, given election-related conflict in other African nations like Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Ayo Johnson is a journalist of African heritage working in the United Kingdom. He writes at “Africa speaks to you” about the significance of Ghana’s peaceful elections.
Ghana is the blue-eyed boy of the African continent. One of Africa’s brightest-known democracies; from the famous Kwame Nkrumah for his revolutionary and progressive views and aspiration for a united Africa. To a chequered past was with that of infamous Jerry Rawlings – (NDC); who came to power repeatedly via the barrel of a gun. Rawlings finally adopted self-governing values with elections that eventually saw him crowned as president.
Election today in Ghana is a stark reminder of how far the nation have come since it’s independence 51 years ago. Ghana is a mature democracy having grown as a nation with decent economic growth forecasts that have cemented their position globally as a major producer of cocoa, gold and now new found wealth of high grade oil.
No wonder the John Atta-Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling party New Patriotic Party (NPP) are prepared to fight tooth and nail to the bitter end; to get what must be a lucrative opportunity for high office in Ghana.
A win for John Atta-Mills of (NDC) will be dogged by counter claims and further appeals by (NPP) to the electoral commission of vote rigging and election irregularities. Both parties must use the judiciary in line with the constitution and take their grievance to the courts.
Both the (NDC) and (NPP) must respect the courts decision as final, failure to adhere could lead to increased tensions that could lead to chaos and anarchy.
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