Ghana must show maturity – Thabo Mbeki



The former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, says Ghana should once again demonstrate her democratic maturity by ensuring peaceful, free and fair elections tomorrow.

Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, ahead of the general elections tomorrow, Mr Mbeki said Ghana had over the years held peaceful elections and was hopeful this year’s election would be peaceful to reaffirm the democratic accolade the country had earned for herself.

“I hope Ghana will set her good example again for other countries in the West African sub-region to emulate in the December 7 elections, by ensuring a transparent, inclusive and credible elections,” he said.

According to Mr. Mbeki, who is leading a 17-member Commonwealth observer mission, Ghana had since 1957 had espoused and upheld the ideals of the Commonwealth Group.

They include respect for the rule of law, human rights, peaceful, transparent and democratic elections.

“Ghana has occupied the historic place of honour in the Commonwealth since independence, and has met the aspirations of the association,” Mr Mbeki said.

He said the Commonwealth was hopeful Ghana would inspire hope for the comity of nations and ensure that the impending elections were credible, transparent and peaceful.

Mr. Mbeki entreated the Electoral Commission to ensure that personnel of the security agencies who could not cast their votes in the special voting were given the opportunity to vote tomorrow.

“I urge EC to ensure no personnel of the security agencies is disfranchised in this year’s general elections,” he stated.

The former South African President appealed to all eligible voters to come out in their numbers to vote, and urged the political parties contesting in the elections to accept the outcome of the polls.

Mr Mbeki advised the political parties and the presidential candidates, to respect the Accra Declaration for Peace, and desist from actions, which could mar the peace of the country.

“Should any dispute arise out of the elections, we entreat the parties to settle it peacefully through the court,” he said, stressing that “no other better option exist than to settle an electoral dispute through a peaceful route”.

Mr Mbeki disclosed that the Commonwealth Observer Mission had deployed observers to the 10 regions in the country to monitor the elections.

By Kingsley Asare



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