Ghana: Our Democracy Has Come of Age

For the second time in the history of this country, Ghanaians have changed government through the ballot box.

The process began in 2000 when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, led by former President Rawlings lost power and peacefully handed over to its opponent, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by President Kufuor.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, President Kufuor would also hand over power to the President-elect, Professor John Fiifi Atta Mills on Wednesday, after his party lost the elections to the NDC.

Though, it is the NDC that has officially won the elections, The Chronicle thinks the credit must be given to the good people of Ghana, who have accepted the use of the ballot box to change governments.

Credit must also be given to the New Patriotic Party and its leader, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo, who has accepted defeat and gone ahead to congratulate the president-elect.

The attitude of Nana Addo, Professor Mills and the entire country has indeed demonstrated that Ghana has come to accept democracy as the way forward.

Whilst congratulating Ghanaians for deciding to use the ballot box to elect their leaders, we must be honest to point out that events leading to the final declaration of the results might have dented the image of this country.

First, it was supporters of the NDC who stormed the Electoral Commission offices in Accra to protest against what could best be described as rumours about purposed rigging.

Hours later, supporters of the NPP also decided to emulate their NDC counterparts by going to the same EC offices to protest against alleged cheating. These two incidents sent wrong signals to the outside world that Ghana was about to plunge into war.

Foreigners who have invested billions of dollars into our economy were equally concerned about the situation, because should there be any war, their investment can not be guaranteed.

Fortunately for us, the situation did not degenerate into war as the outside world were anticipating, which is a mark of good democracy.

Nevertheless, we at The Chronicle wish to appeal to leaders and supporters of both NPP and NDC never to allow this incident to happen again. The two parties must have confidence in the EC, which is an impartial body.