President John Agyekum Kufuor has stated that he is ready to hand over by next week Wednesday. The President, a Ã¢â‚¬ËœdoveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ by nature, seems not to be going with the hardliners in his party as he had already called on the cool heads in both parties not to overstretch the issue.
To him, both parties must yield to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“authority of the Electoral Commissioner when he declares the resultsÃ¢â‚¬Â.
In a statement under his signature and dated January 2, 2009, the President said any outstanding issues may be settled later through due process, explaining that Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is important that we meet the Constitutional time-table for handing over on January 7, 2009.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Below is the full text from the Office of the President:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Year 2009 has dawned on us and it is my greatest pleasure to wish the entire nation a very happy New Year. For many Ghanaians the joy of the New Year has been tampered to an extent by the intense anxiety and high tension arising out of the ongoing Presidential elections which is yet to throw up a clear winner, despite last weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s run-off.
The two contesting parties have raised pertinent concerns which are being addressed by the Independent Electoral Commission, among others.
It is important however that we meet the Constitutional time table for handing over on January 7th. I therefore urge all stakeholders to yield to the authority of the Electoral Commissioner when he declares the results. Any outstanding issues may be settled later by due process.
I should also appeal to the media also to exercise the greatest sense of responsibility and circumspection in discharging their functions.
They must not inflame passions or incite people to undertake negative actions. Rather, their work should be guided by the public good at all times.
On the part of the security forces, I know that the nation can count on them to remain neutral and to display the highest sense of professionalism in the conduct of their work at this very critical time in the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s history.
Lastly, I entreat the general public to remain calm until the result of the election is declared by the Electoral Commission to facilitate the transfer of power from this government to the next on 7th January as mandated by the national Constitution.
May God bless us all.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Signed: John Agyekum Kufuor
President of the Republic of Ghana
It would be recalled that following the tug-of-war that ensued, especially with the infamous calling of results ahead of the final declaration by Dr. Afari-Gyan last Tuesday, a number of NPP diehards have vowed to fight to the last, saying the EC chairman was not fair to them.
They contend that if Dr. Afari-Gyan was sincere with what he was doing, he would have withheld the results till after the Tain results were collated.
But President Kufuor says the final results of the EC boss must be respected by both the NPP and NDC, and expressed his readiness to handover to whoever is declared