A joint transition team has been set up by Ghana’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) to ensure the smooth transition of power from outgoing President John Dramani Mahama of the NDC to the NPP’s President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.

This establishment of the transition team on Sunday follows the NPP’s victory in the 2016 general election held last Wednesday and is provided for under an Act of Parliament, which has the two principals serving as co-chair with an advisory council made up of the Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe-Adjaho, Dr Kwesi Botchwey and Professor Mike Ocquaye.

Hannah Tetteh, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration is the spokesperson for the NDC, while Mustapha Hamid was named spokesperson for the NPP.

Apart from the 16-member representatives from both sides, there are also statutory transition team members made up of the Head of the Civil Service, Head of the Local Government Service, Secretary to the Cabinet and the National Security Co-ordinator.

President Mahama in his remarks to the inaugural meeting of the team, urged the members of the team to be diligent in their deliberations to ensure a smooth transition which would befit the status of the country’s deepened democracy.

He added that the transfer of power from one political party to another had already happened in 2001 and 2009, and it should therefore not be a problem which could thwart their efforts this time round.

He said although there was a need for both parties to continue to compete, the national interest of Ghanaians should reign supreme for growth and development.

He condemned alleged attacks on NDC supporters and vandalization of State property, but was quick to commend the NPP leadership for condemning the acts formally.

The president assured that his administration would continue to collaborate with the incoming government to ensure the security and safety of Ghanaians everywhere.

The President-elect advised the team to allow the national interest to override all other considerations and urged them to make their decisions based on Ghana’s Constitution to move the country forward.

He commended President Mahama for the co-operation he had received so far, and gave the assurance that unlike some previous situations where Ghanaians had to go in for presidential run-offs before the transfer of power, this current transition would work smoothly.

He won the presidency by polling 53.85 per cent of the votes while President Mahama came second with 44.4 per cent. The five other presidential candidates secured negligible numbers of votes.