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Sun, Dec

How prepared are we for the elections?

By close of day yesterday,17 presidential aspirants had successfully filed their nominations with the Electoral Commission (EC) to become presidential candidates in the upcoming elections.

With that issue of which aspirants will be able to file to become candidates cleared, it remains to be seen what will become of the suit against the EC by the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) on the filing fees charged and whether the fees will be maintained or reduced.

But while we await the verdict when the Judiciary returns from its legal vacation early this month, it looks certain that the media would have a Herculean task covering all the 17 presidential aspirants in the run-up to the December 7 elections.

That notwithstanding, we urge the aspirants not to go into hibernation after they have filed their nominations.

Just as journalists would have to put in hard work to report on the activities of the aspirants, the latter would also have to burn a lot of energy traversing the country and canvassing for the votes of the electorate.

The stage is set for intensive campaigns all across the country, but we ask all the contestants to stick to issues-based campaigns and desist from insults and personality attacks, as that will not win them the Presidency.

We need to engage in healthy debates that will enrich our discourse on the social and academic issues that affect us all. 

At the end of the campaign period, we should become richer in wisdom on how to confront the issues that easily beset us, and it does not matter who brings up ideas that will be considered by the majority of people as the most laudable.

As we have said for the umpteenth time, Ghana is the only country we have and as we inch closer to the elections, we should always have that at the back of our minds.

Governance is key to our development as a nation and whatever we do we must guard jealously the peace that we currently enjoy and ensure that we get it right with the calibre of people we elect as our leaders.

The Daily Graphic congratulates presidential aspirants who were able to meet the deadline for filing and who are now sure to have their images printed on the ballot papers, unless the unthinkable happens.

Yes, it will be a keen contest and we cannot wait to hear the various messages of the presidential hopefuls and how they hope to improve on the fortunes of the country.

But we will also be watching to see how they conduct themselves as would-be presidential candidates on the campaign trail, especially when they are challenged on key and sensitive national issues.

All of us — the EC, presidential and parliamentary aspirants and the electorate — owe it to ourselves and the country to ensure clean, fair and peaceful elections.

We must support and cheer on our parties and aspirants to win, but we must exercise restraint and refuse to be provoked. 

We must also be decorous in all our engagements and make sure we play by the rules so that we do not fall foul of the law.