Ensure peaceful elections, Obasanjo told Ghanaians

By IndepthAfrica
In Ghana
Dec 5th, 2012

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Ghana’s presidential election slated for Friday this week has been described as a golden opportunity for the West African country to grow its democratic credential by conducting a peaceful and transparent poll.

Nigeria’s former president and leader of ECOWAS Observer Mission to the election, Olusegun Obasanjo who described Ghana as a beacon of democracy in a volatile region, advised all stakeholders in the elections to commit to peace and good sportsmanship as the country goes to polls this week.

Speaking during a meeting with Ghana’s longest leader and founder of ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Jerry Rawlings, Obasanjo said Africa looks to Ghana to make it proud once again.

Ghana earned the praise of the US president Barack Obama in 2009 when it became the first sub-Saharan African country to be visited by Obama who at that time described it as ‘a model of democracy’. Obama said there is often a tendency to focus on the many challenges that exist in Africa.

Yet, he said, “It’s important for us also to focus on the good news that’s coming out of Africa, and I think Ghana continues to be a good news story.”

Seven political parties will field candidates in Friday’s presidential elections which will also feature an independent candidate which makes it a total of eight contestants. The parties are: National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), Convention Peoples Party (CPP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Progressive People’s Party (PPP), United Front Party (UFP), and People’s National Convention (PNC). The real contest, however, is between the ruling NDC and the leading opposition NPP.

The New Patriotic Party which held power for eight years under former president John Kufuor is keen to wrestle power off NDC. It would be recalled that Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantity under the Kufuor administration, but his party never got to manage the oil find as the discovery come few months before it handed power to NDC.

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