President Akufo-Addo interacting with a section of the Minority. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI  DOWUONA
President Akufo-Addo interacting with a section of the Minority. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

Work with parties for credible elections - President to EC

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the Electoral Commission (EC) to organise a credible general election. 

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He urged the EC to work with the political parties in the discharge of its responsibility to iron out whatever problems there might be, adding “I am happy that the Electoral Commission, after engaging the parties, has shelved plans to change the December 7 date”.

In a message to Parliament on the state of the nation, President Akufo-Addo said the government was doing its part to make the work of the EC smooth.

The exercise, which has become known as the State of the Nation Address, will be the President’s penultimate address ahead of his scheduled departure from office on January 7, 2025, after a two-term tenure that started on January 7, 2017.

Article 67(1) of the 1992 Constitution states: “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before a dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation”.

Political parties

He expressed the hope that with increased communications, even the most politically uninterested person would know that “on December 7, we shall be going to the polls to elect a new President and Members of Parliament”.

The President, however, stressed that a lot of responsibility was also laid on the political parties.

“It is up to the parties to demonstrate that competitive elections are an honourable, character-enhancing experience and at the end of the process, the loser will congratulate the winner, and the world does not come to an end because an election has been lost,” he stated.

The President put up a spirited defence of politics and debased violence in elections when he stated: “There is nothing inherently dirty or corrupt about politics, and nothing about elections that should generate violence”.

“We, who are in politics and we who are members of political parties, owe it to ourselves, the institutions we claim to belong to, and, above all, we owe it to Ghana and the people of Ghana to make politics and elections the serious and joyful phenomenon they should be,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.

The government, for its part, would do what was expected to ensure that the reputation of the country was not damaged and the free will of the people was manifested at the end of the electoral process, the President stated.

“I want to reassure the people of Ghana that I will do everything in my power to help ensure the conduct of transparent, free and fair elections on December 7,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“I have confidence in the security services to ensure that those who might want to cause havoc or any kind of mischief to disrupt the electoral process will have no room to operate,” he added.

The President, however, threw the spotlight on those who for ideological or other unstated reasons, had never accepted multi-party democracy and, therefore, took every opportunity to portray the governance efforts most disparagingly.

“There are also those amongst us who consider the rough and tumble of politics to be beneath them and would not want their sainted images to be soiled by what they term the dirt of politics.

“Mr Speaker, we can and we should continuously improve upon the performance of the institutions that hold the state together, but nobody should undermine the integrity of the arms of government for parochial reasons,” the President added.

President Akufo-Addo admitted that there was much room for improvement in the workings of the Executive arm of government, the Judiciary and Parliament. 

Free speech

He also touted free speech and media pluralism in the country today, saying young Ghanaians found it normal to criticise the President and challenge government proposals, a position that had been buoyed by about 550 radio stations in operation.

The President said despite all its shortcomings and difficulties, the people of Ghana had shown admirable commitment to multi-party democracy.

President Akufo-Addo stressed that the past 32 years of the Fourth Republic had witnessed the most sustained period of stability and economic growth in the country, urging Ghanaians to be proud of “what we have achieved and seek to protect and build on it”.

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