10 December 2012

Ghana: Respect the People's Voice - President Mahama Urges Rivals

Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege reports from Accra. ( Resource: Ghana Voters React to Mahama's Win )

President-elect John Dramani Mahama is urging political leaders particularly of parties that participated in the 2012 elections to respect the verdict of the polls and the people's will.

In brief comments to jubilant party youths at his residence on Suday night he also urged suporters of his ruling National Democratic Congress to be measured in their jubilation over the party's first round victory in the general polls, saying it is the entire nation that has won.

"I want to say that all Ghanaians have won and I want to call on all leaders of political parties that participated in this election to respect the voice of the people. The voice of the people is the voice of God," he counseled.

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission declared the president winner of the closely contested election with 50.70 percent of total valid votes to clinch a first round victory as required by the country's constitution.

The main opposition New Patriotic Party boycotted the official announcement of results after alleging fraud and abuse of the electoral process and failed to convince the Electoral Commision to stay the announcement of the results pending investigations. Its candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo polled 47.74 percent of valid votes.

The President who is expected to be sworn into office on January 7, 2013 to begin an oficial four-year term, said he accepted the trust reposed in him and the responsibilty to serve the nation in all humility and will discharge his duties in the best interest of Ghana.

"I also wish to call on all supporters to exercise restraint in celebration. We must celebrate together as Ghanaians and let's refrain from any acts that will disturb the peace and order that this country continues to enjoy. I want to thank you very much and to say that I'm overwhelmed. Thank you."

The president's party is also noted to win majority of seats in a 275-seat parliament.

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