Head of ECOWAS Observers, Obasanjo, hails Ghana's democratic tradition

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - Head of the 250-member ECOWAS Observation Mission for Friday's general elections in Ghana, former Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo, has lauded the  country's National Peace Council for its contribution to the pre-election agreement signed by all political stakeholders in the country to play by the rule and ensure a peaceful electoral process.

“The Kumasi Declaration is not only unique, it is commendable and worthy of emulation,” Obasanjo said in Ghana's capital, Accra, Tuesday during a meeting with members of the Council, as part of consultations with political stakeholders ahead of Friday’s presidential
and legislative polls.

He said organisations such as the National Peace Council were the building blocks needed to make the region and the continent “a haven of peaceful, transparent and credible elections and for strengthening of democracy.”

While expressing the hope that Ghana would live up to its reputation and tradition of upholding a democratic culture, Obasanjo reminded Ghanaians that “the eye of the rest of the world is now on Ghana.”

The chairman of the Peace Council, the Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, briefed Obasanjo and his joint delegation of ECOWAS and the AU on the composition, functions and objectives of the Council which, he said, only became a statutory body a year ago, after existing for much longer as a civil society organization.

The Council is charged with facilitating and developing national mechanisms for conflict prevention, management, resolution and building of sustainable peace in the country.

At a separate meeting with the Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Theodora Wood, Obasanjo repeated his exhortation to Ghanaians to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner to ensure free and fair, transparent and credible balloting on Friday.

The Chief Justice assured the ECOWAS mission that the Ghanaian judiciary has put in place appropriate mechanism to ensure speedy adjudication of any electoral dispute that might arise.

The head of the ECOWAS election observation mission also met separately with two former Ghanaian Presidents, John Kufour and J.J. Rawlings, whose rival political parties are fielding the two front runners in Friday’s presidential race.

Both Ghanaian leaders were in agreement that Obasanjo’s presence would calm the political atmosphere and ensure a peaceful electoral process in the country.

The former Nigerian leader later paid condolence visits to Mrs. Ernestina Attah-Mills and Hajia Ramatu Aliu Mahama, widows of the late Ghanaian President John Attah-Mills and the former Vice President to President John Kuffuor, the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama.

Meanwhile, members of Ghana’s security services who will be on duty on voting day began casting their ballots on Tuesday.

Friday’s polls will be the sixth uninterrupted general elections in Ghana with three peaceful alternations of power in the country since 1992.

More than 13 million biometric-registered Ghanaian voters will elect a president out of eight presidential candidates, and fill the 275-seat Parliament out of hundreds of contenders.
-0- PANA SEG 5Dec2012

05 december 2012 12:53:40




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