Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

Another close race in the Ghana 2012 elections

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One of the things that we learned from our time in Ghana was that the people of Ghana are fiercely political.   We mean REALLY political.   Almost everyone seems to take an active interest, and often a very vocal interest, in what is happening politically in the country.   Talk back radio in particular is a huge way for Ghanaians to get their message out to the public;  we used to listen to talk back radio almost every morning, and could not believe how much more engaged these folks were about issues that affected their everyday life.   Certainly in Australia, the general apathy that is present around political matters would seem very misplaced indeed in this lively, politically engaged country.

for the love of Ghana

So it is with great interest that we are eagerly watching the process unfold of the country selecting its new leader.  Of course, our fingers are also crossed that Ghana does itself proud (yet again), by having a peaceful voting process, and a smooth transition to a new government, if indeed that is the outcome.

Preliminary results seem to indicate that it is, once again, going to be a very close race.  This was the case four years ago when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won the election under John Atta Mills by less than one percentage point.   With the passing of Mills, the leadership of the party is current held by John Dramani Mahama.  The main political opposition to Mahama is Nana Akufo-Addo, who leads the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Ghana put herself at the forefront of the world by being the “little darling” of the governance world, as she has successfully moved forward without excessive violence in no fewer than five elections since military rule ended in 1992.   So once again, the world’s eyes are upon her.

However, the game being played out this time is one of higher stakes, as the last four years has seen the Ghanaian economy grow substantially with the commencement of oil production in the Jubilee field.   This is an area that we watch closely, and know that the stakes are high for all Ghanaians to hopefully benefit from the royalties that the oil will provide to the government.   But of course, this makes it even more imperative that whoever wins this election, ensures that the distribution of the oil royalties is done in a transparent and open manner.   Only then can Ghana truly raise its hand to the world to demonstrate what a true “little darling” she is!

This election was run by the Electoral Commission, and as such, it is only the EC that can officially announce results.  No doubt people are impatient to know the outcome of who will be at the helm for the next four years.   But irrespective of the result, we certainly offer our congratulations to this amazing African country for demonstrating their commitment to democracy by exercising their right to vote, and for doing so peacefully.  Our hearts are with you, Ghana

UPDATE:  Mahama of the NDC has been declared the winner!  Another close race, but at this stage it looks like the NPP will be challenging the results.   Keep calm, and carry on everyone!

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Written by Mar(k)

December 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm

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