Scores of congratulatory messages are being sent to Ghanaians and the new president-elect Professor John Atta-Mills for a generally free and fair election. UN, Canada, Kenya and Nigeria are the latest to give thumbs up to the West African country.
The United Nations through its Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, in a statement commended the process in Ghana as “democratic achievement and an example to others.” Ban pat the backs of Ghanaians for comporting themselves during and after the elections that went in favour of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Also, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Lawrence Cannon and the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, issued a statement on behalf of the Government of Canada congratulating the people of Ghana on the recent elections.
“Canada congratulates the Ghanaian people for the overall peaceful, orderly and transparent manner in which the country’s 2008 parliamentary and presidential elections were conducted,” said Minister Cannon. “With this fifth consecutive election held under Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, Ghanaians are showing that democracy and the rule of law are entrenched in their political culture.
The canadainternational.gc.ca said: “These elections are important for both Ghana and all of Africa. Ghanaians embraced this opportunity to serve once again as a beacon of democracy for all other African countries.
“We congratulate the newly elected President, John Atta Mills, for this victory, and his opponent, Nana Akufo-Addo, for the manner in which he responded to the results. Furthermore, we commend President John Agyekum Kufuor, who is leaving office, as prescribed by the Constitution, with a freer and more prosperous Ghana as his legacy,” added Minister Cannon.
“Canada and Ghana have a long history of cooperation and our ties are deepening. Canada will continue to collaborate with countries such as Ghana, which share democracy as a core value,” said Minister Oda. “Recognizing the importance of this election, Canada supported a number of election-related activities through the Electoral Commission of Ghana, civil society and international organizations.”
Canada will be represented at the upcoming presidential inauguration by Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board of Canada.
Kenya and Nigeria
In the same development, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua have hailed the free and fair presidential elections in Ghana.
Raila wished the president-elect well on his victory which Yar’Adua said his election has once again allayed insinuations on Africa’s competence to conduct a hitch-free democratic election. They also praised Ghanaians for conducting peaceful polls.
“John Atta Mills victory and the conduct of the people of Ghana provides a rare example of democracy at work in Africa and provides the hope that the continent will not turn its back on the democratic gains attained painfully in the second wind of change in the 1990s,” said Odinga in a statement sent to newsrooms, The Standard, SA reported.
“We hope and pray that the spirit with which the election has been fought and won will be nurtured and promoted not only in Ghana, but also in West Africa,” Yar’Adua said in a Xinhua news report.
They hailed the outgoing President John Kufuor for steadily steering the nation through he knife-edge and hard fought poll and for showing statesmanship. Kufuor had urged both candidates to respect the final result. “I would wish to see Kufuor take up a greater role as an elder statesman in Africa and the world,” Odinga added.
John Atta-Mills won the presidential run-off with 50.23 percent of the votes against 49.77 percent for the ruling New Patriotic Party’s candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.