The two main candidates in Ghana’s 7 December presidential election have committed to a peaceful vote by signing a peace pact on Friday on behalf of their respective political parties.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party and former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress signed the six-point pact to ensure peace before, during and after the 2020 general elections.
This is the third such pact since 2012.
Voters will also elect 275 parliamentarians in Monday’s elections, the eighth in the Fourth Republic. There are 12 presidential candidates contesting the election.
Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman of the National Peace Council, urged the two candidates to stick to their pledges to ensure a peaceful vote.
“Resorting to violence is ill-disposed and must be avoided. It is my hope that the signing of this pact will not just be another public show and that all the parties in this national accord will genuinely play their roles in ensuring peace during and after the 2020 general elections,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said he would accept the verdict of Ghanaians, adding, “I have said that we believe in elections, and I am happy to give my word that we shall accept the verdict of the people of Ghana.”
“Above all, I pledge that the peace, unity, and safety of Ghana will be our primary consideration,” he said.
Former President Mahama said the Electoral Commission, Judiciary, Security Services and the media “hold the future of our nation in their hands”.
He also cited a number of recent cases of violence and voter oppression under the government as a source of worry ahead of the polls.
The sad events of a bye-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in Accra “are fresh in our minds”, adding that the administration’s refusal to sanction persons involved in assaulting an MP and injuring scores of people “remain one of the darkest days in our democratic history”.
He said it was his prayer that Ghana would once again be proven to be the beacon of democracy in Africa.
“We have done it before, and we can do it again! Let us on Monday exorcise the ghost of Ayawaso West Wuogon. I am John Dramani Mahama and I stand for peace. Let there be peace in Ghana before, during and after the elections,” he added.