EDITORIAL: Real Democracy Takes Roots in Ghana
Despite all the hype, the loose talk and some misguided threats of violence in the past few months, Ghanaians have conducted one of the most orderly, free and fair elections in the nation's history to choose the country's leaders for the next four years. And as was widely expected, the incumbent President John Agyekum Kufour has been re-elected along with his New Patriotic Party which retained and increased its majority in Parliament.
We at The Ghanaian News wish to commend our compatriots at home for the maturity, patience and tolerance they exhibited during the elections period and the days after. This is an almost perfect and nearly flawless elections, the likes of which have not happened anywhere in the world even in the so-called "advanced" countries, like the one next door, who claim to be the custodians of "democracy" but who cannot conduct a trouble free elections without resorting to the courts and other unconventional tactics to declare their winners. Ghanaians have every justifiable reason to be proud of their achievement in this historic event. And the world should take notice that we will be available or on call for supervision of elections anywhere in the world when they need "experienced" election observers. Hello, Ukraine.....and Britain....and United States, we are available for duty!!.
We congratulate President Kufour and the New Patriotic Party on their victory and wish them God speed in the task ahead in their second mandate. The victory of President Kufour and the NPP, though expected, is very significant for political stability and continuity in the country. Kufour and the NPP have embarked on a number of good projects and economic and social policies in their first four-year mandate that must be given another opportunity and political nursing to mature for the benefit of the country. The adoption of the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) option at the beginning of their first mandate in 2001, though controversial at the beginning, has brought very welcome debt relief to the country's foreign exchange sector. Savings and benefits that accrued from the initiative have been used to finance a number of development projects across the country and these are lasting testimonies for all.
We also wish to salute John Evans Attah Mills and his National Democratic Congress as well as the other smaller parties and independent candidates for giving democracy a chance. It is noteworthy that the Opposition also gave thumps up to the conduct of the elections. We must all recognize that in an election, only one party and one Presidential and Parliamentary candidate at a time will win. To those who lost, we say better luck next time. No one is destined to rule Ghana and the choice of our leaders and government must always be left to the good judgement of Ghanaians.
To President Kufour and the NPP, we wish to caution them against complacency. They have been re-elected to follow through on a good job that they have started. They should not regard the mandate that they have received as a license to arrogance and wanton disregard for the wishes and needs of the people of Ghana. Much work lies ahead. Our educational system and our schools and in shambles; the ordinary person on the street cannot make ends meet with the meager minimum wage. Many areas of the country are still without electricity, good roads and good drinking water. Armed robbers still roam and terrorize certain parts of the country with impunity. And many of our youth still roam the streets with no jobs to go to, to earn a living. The work ahead is still huge. But we trust that President Kufour and the NPP will rise up to the occasion in their second mandate. As they say in their slogan: "so far, so good". But they need to do better. The people of Ghana expect nothing less.
And at The Ghanaian News we shall be watching and reminding the government at every turn of its responsibility to the people of Ghana who reposed a second confidence mandate in them. Good luck and once again we salute the people of Ghana for the peaceful elections they have conducted.