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Press Review | Dec 7, 2004

EDITORIAL: Hats Off To the People of Ghana

The Analyst (Monrovia)

THE PEOPLE OF Ghana are by now going to the polls to select the best amongst four presidential contenders for that country's highest office based in the Castle. More than 11 million eligible Ghanaians of all walks of life and persuasions will be making choices for president, vice president, and parliamentarians.

About 952 candidates in all will be fighting for 230 parliamentary seats. With 105,000 polls workers on hand to man 21,000 voting precincts across the country, today's exercise of political franchise in West African's most politically affluent country will be the largest next to the recent Nigerian elections.

But unlike the Nigerian elections, so far, it promises to be more peaceful.

REPORT SAY TODAY'S polls are going ahead without international electoral observers, indicating that Ghana may be on the way to political stability and maturity. For a highly multi-cultural and ethnically-based political leaning country to enter such a landmark competition without external assistance is a feat that is awe-inspiring and worthy of emulation especially by Liberians many of whom see very little or nothing wrong with not keeping political competitions within the domain of certain class of citizens.

WHILE WE IN Liberia have much to learn from the Ghanaian people with regards to streamlining political competitions in order to minimize political conflicts, we at The Analyst want to congratulate the Ghanaian people for being able to redeem the image of Africa, deemed a dark continent where democracy has yet to take roots after more than a century of colonial rule and more than a half century of self-governance.

AS WE CONGRATULATE the people of Ghana, we want to urge them to ensure that the same maturity of purpose and spirit of magnanimity that characterized and guided them throughout their campaign period will lead them to accepting the results of today's exercise without unnecessary bickering. We bid them not allow greed and vain quest for power or promotion of ethnic hegemony blind them into throwing asunder what they have carefully tailored over the last one year of electoral preparation. As we always say, Liberians and Ghanaians have special deep running historical ties and relationships that go beyond political boundaries and that make it impossible for one country to hurt without the other feeling the pinch.

THIS IS WHY we have no doubts that electoral success in Ghana will not only be a hope for free and fair elections in Liberia under an atmosphere free of intimidation, but it will also instill a sense of discipline and set an example for Liberian politicians, who have all of a sudden lost their bearings and seeking anchor only in the presidency, to follow.

WE CONGRATULATE ESPECIALLY President Kufour, Prof. Mills, Mr. Mahama, and Aggudey for the level of maturity they have exhibited thus far, and we hope that they will be able to control their supporters when the final results of the today's elections are announced. Needless to say, these true sons of Ghana had been through elections under difficult conditions and must therefore have come to see that losing elections is not the end of the world but a political challenge to press ahead.

IT IS THEREFORE our hope that post-electoral activities in Ghana will remain peaceful, orderly, and honorable as it was with the last U.S. elections.

Ghana must hold its head up high above factional differences because Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote D'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and even Nigeria, to say nothing about Liberia, have much to learn from what is happening today. Our hearts off to you, people of Ghana ¡V the land of the Black Star.

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