28 November 2012

Ghana: It's Our Binding Duty to Let Democracy Work - Asantehene

Photo: AEP
President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana is the candidate of the National Democratic Congress in the 2012 elections.

His Majesty Otumfo Osei Tutu II has reiterated the need for the collective responsibility of all citizens, security agencies, and leaders of the various political parties, towards safeguarding the democratic credentials of the country, and to maintain the peace and unity before, during, and after the December 7 elections.

He was addressing participants, including all the eight presidential candidates contesting the December 2012 general elections, at a well-attended event, held at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in the Ashanti regional capital of Kumasi, where all the candidates signed a peace pact to commit themselves to a peaceful electoral process.

"Let us make the Kumasi declaration one of the pillars of our nascent democracy, committing us to the avoidance of any form of electoral violence, impunity, and injustice," he noted.

He, however, cautioned that anyone who had the privilege to serve with the Electoral Commission, and who seeks to use his or her position to undermine the process in favour of any particular party or candidate, violates the honour of the land

The initiative was coordinated by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), and the Peace Council, under the auspices of Manhyia Palace.

His Majesty Otumfo Osei Tutu II reminded the nation not to forget how it arrived at where it was today.

To him: "The fact that we have never descended into the horrors of civil war, does not mean we have no pain and no anguish in our past. Indeed, it will be fair to suggest that we have been exposed to, and tried practically, every form of government in our fifty years plus, as a sovereign nation."

"We have tried the one party state; we have been exposed to shades of military rule; it is from this complex painful mix that we have drawn the experience that informed us to commit ourselves to multiparty democracy in 1992."

To him, democracy may have its own strain and stresses, but it was the country's irrevocable choice, and each one had a binding duty to make it work, not only today, but for all time.

He noted that fundamental to the sustenance of democracy was the electoral process by which the people exercise their inalienable right to chose how they wish to be governed.

"Take away this right, or by any means frustrate the people in the free and unfettered exercise of this right, and the value of democracy drops to zero," he said.

He stated further that the recognition Ghana had gained, as a beacon of African democracy, should not give room for complacency, and tasked all to make Ghana a shining example in the sub-region, even as it goes into the December elections.

All the presidential candidates also pledged their commitment to ensuring peaceful elections.

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