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Ghana will live up to its election credentials

BY: Chris Nunoo
Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (2nd left) with the envoys
Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (2nd left) with the envoys

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has given an assurance that Ghana will not disappoint the world during its presidential and parliamentary elections on Monday because it is proud of its democratic credentials.

She has, therefore, advised all stakeholders to psyche themselves that there would be only one winner after the process.

“Every election is different but all in all, I am of the firm belief and opinion that Ghana will not disappoint the world. We are very much proud of our democratic credentials,” she stated.

“There will only be one winner and so we should all psyche ourselves that, this is what it is, like it has always been in the last seven elections,” Ms Botchwey said.

ECOWAS protocol

Ms Botchwey was speaking during a meeting with the ECOWAS Chief Election Observer, former President of Liberia Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, at her office in Accra last Thursday.

In accordance with the ECOWAS protocol on good governance and democracy, Mrs Johnson Sirleaf together with her delegation, is in Ghana from December 3 to 12, 2020 to observe the presidential and parliamentary elections on Monday.

She was accompanied by former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Liberia and former Liberian Ambassador to the UN, Mr Marjon Kamara, and a former Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism of Liberia, Mr Lewis Brown.

The team prior to their main mission would also hold meetings with selected stakeholders involved in Ghana’s electoral process.
Few weeks ago, a joint ECOWAS/AU Pre-election team led by the President of the ECOWAS Commission was in Ghana to assess the country’s preparedness towards the general election on December 7, 2020.

Democratic credentials

Ms Botchwey assured her that the government was committed to working closely with all stakeholders towards the conduct of a violence-free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections.

Touting some of the democratic credentials to the delegation, Ms Botchwey said, “we believe strongly in the rule of law in democracy, respect for human rights and good governance”.

She said, “elections are part of a good working democracy where you afford the citizens the opportunity at given intervals to speak their mind through the ballot box”.

“As for tensions, there will always be during elections and it is to be expected because these are groups of political parties that are vying for one position, so that is expected but we always do our best to put our best foot forward, “the foreign affairs minister assured.

Ms Botchwey also told the delegation that the government had spared no effort in putting at the disposal of all the institutions that were involved in the preparation of the elections, all their requirements, adding that “so we know that the EC is well prepared for the elections”.

She was happy that ECOWAS had put together a team to observe the elections and said other bodies such as the African Union (AU), European Union (EU) and also the Commonwealth had put together observer teams to observe the elections in the country.

While recalling events of the special voting exercise last Tuesday, she said it went well as there was no violence or tension.

To that end, she said, the government took a cue from what happened and that everything as far as the elections were concerned would go well as expected.

Chief observer

Mrs Johnson Sirleaf, in her response, expressed how honoured she was to have been designated by the President of the ECOWAS Commission to serve as the ECOWAS elections observation mission for the election in Ghana, saying “We know of the legacy Ghana has when it comes to elections and how things are conducted here”.