Ghana will today go to the polls to elect a president and 275 parliamentarians in the eighth general election since the country embarked on a democratic journey in 1992.
Since then, the country has conducted elections and governments have alternated between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in a peaceful transfer of power.
The peaceful transfer of power has earned Ghana the enviable title of beacon of democracy in West Africa because of the turmoil that engulf other sister West African countries who also embark on similar democratic journey.
Today, the world’s attention would be focused on Ghana once again in expectation that the country would hold another free, fair and peaceful election whose results would be acceptable to all the contestants.
Typically, no one should bother about Ghana living up to expectation because of its past democratic credentials but recent events in the country give some cause to worry.
The threat to peace and security due to violent activities of political activists, identification of flash points across the country, vigilantism among others have created doubts as to whether the country could this time pass, the test again.
Although, few violent incidences have occurred during the campaign, we are happy that it did not affect the campaign and did not disrupt political activities which have ended fairly well.
It is our wish that we exhibit tolerance and protect the peace today as we cast our votes across the country and prove to the world once again that we are the beacon of democracy.
Ghana has come a long way in its fight for democracy andit would not be a befitting tribute to past generations whose efforts culminated in the birth of a democratic fourth republic, if we fail to sustain the peace, neither will it be a good legacy to leave for the future.
Last Friday, the flag bearers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and former President John Dramani Mahama, signed a pact to commit to peace.
The two leaders, before signing the peace pact at a ceremony in Accra, made short remarks, pledging to commit to peace before, during and after the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections and ensure the stability of the nation.
The Ghanaian Times expects that the commitment to peace would not be another rhetoric but the signatories would ensure that their supporters play by the rules of the elections.
Elections should not be a do or die affair. If the country wanted it this way, it would not have guarded its democratic credentials over the years. By all means there would be a winner and a loser.
Thankfully, this is not the first time both parties have tasted defeat or victory and as such they are expected to know how to celebrate in moderation in order not to incur the displeasure of their opponents.
We urge the Electoral Commission, politicians, party supporters, electorates and all stakeholders to play their roles in sustaining the country’s peace so she passes the test of her enviable title of beacon of democracy.