GHANA: WORLD CONGRATULATES NEW PRESIDENT, THANKS OUTGOING LEADER FOR PRESERVING PEACE
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated Nana Akufo-Addo on his election as President of Ghana and thanked outgoing President John Dramani Mahama for his role in defusing tensions and preserving peace during the election period.
According to a statement issued by his office, Ban reiterated UN’s commitment to continue assisting the Government of Ghana in consolidating democratic and development achievements.
The UN chief also congratulated the people of the African nation, who turned out in large numbers to participate in the presidential and parliamentary elections on Dec 7, and commended the country’s Electoral Commission for successfully organizing the elections.
The official result sparked wild celebrations from NPP supporters, who had been gathering and dancing throughout the day as exit polls suggested their party was headed for a clear victory.
The outcome marked the third time since 2000 that a Ghanaian government has been voted out of office, underscoring the country’s record of hotly contested but peaceful elections.
The result also capped a remarkable two weeks for politics in West Africa after Gambian President Yahya Jammeh was defeated in elections last week and then on Friday took to the airwaves to ominously announce he rejected the result.
In Ghana, where democratic norms have long been embedded, the result came with only minor infractions. Commentators said the margin of victory would likely prevent the kind of legal challenge to the vote that paralyzed much of the country’s bureaucracy for months after Akufo-Addo contested Mahama’s 2012 election victory.
Mahama addressed his supporters shortly after conceding late Friday. “As president, I have done my bit. I have made a contribution to the political, social and economic development of our country. I would have cherished an opportunity to do even more, but I respect the will of the Ghanaian people,” he said.
Akufo-Addo, who served as attorney general and foreign minister in the NPP government that held power for eight years starting in 2001, had campaigned to reinvigorate Ghana’s lackluster economy, arguing Mahama had squandered the country’s commodity wealth and presided over a surge in corruption.
The president-elect must now deliver on pledges to kick-start growth by building more factories and dams, and by offering the equivalent of $1 million for every district for development projects.
Many voters on the streets of Accra late Friday were hoping the country’s seventh peaceful presidential elections since the end of military rule in 1992 would help reinvigorate Ghana’s place as a leading regional economy.
Ghana has earned international praise over the peaceful conduct of its general elections.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union sent congratulatory messages to the people of the West African country reserving praise for the Electoral Commission (EC).
”Through their peaceful conduct during the election, the people of Ghana have written the next chapter in Ghana’s democracy, a democracy that continues to inspire people across the region and the continent,” the UK’s Foreign Secretary chief, Boris Johnson stated in his message.
For their part, the EU Election Observer Mission (EOM) chief said, ”The EOM reported observing a peaceful, generally well administered and transparent vote after a competitive and inclusive campaign.
Ahead of the presentation of its final report, ”The EOM highlighted how Ghana could now build on these achievements to further improve its election framework,” their statement read.
A statement from the US Department of State read in part, ”The United States congratulates the people of Ghana on the successful conclusion of the December 7 general election.
”We commend Ghana’s Electoral Commission for administering a credible election process. We also recognize the many civil society organizations that contributed to a peaceful, transparent, and fair election,” it added.
“Canada congratulates Nana Akufo-Addo on his election to the presidency of Ghana and congratulates all Ghanaians for holding transparent and democratic elections in a calm and respectful manner on December 7.
“Canada also thanks President John Dramani Mahama for his commitment to democracy, prosperity and development in Ghana and in the Economic Community of West African States and for fostering Ghana’s close partnership with Canada,” statement from the Canadian High Commission in Accra read.
All four entities also congratulated the president-elect Nana Addo Damkwa Akufo-Addo who defeated the incumbent John Dramani Mahama. Mahama also earned praise for his statesmanship for having conceding to Akufo-Addo.
President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) got 5,716,026 votes representing 53.85% of votes. Whiles the ruling National Democratic Congress managed 4,713,277 votes representing 44.40% of valid votes cast.
The Electoral Commission (EC) duly declared him as President-elect on Friday night even though they had earlier slated the final declaration for Saturday. The EC’s decision followed the verification that Mahama had called to concede defeat in the polls.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK