Ghana has held what was possibly the most keenly followed or monitored general elections in since the reintroduction of democratic rule in 1992. The pre-election period was characterized with a myriad of issues and scandals. As a result, tensions were high and the international community and many Ghanaians were very apprehensive about possible pockets of unrest and disturbances during and after the 2016 general elections. For this reason, the concerned actors in this year’s election, including the Electoral Commission (EC), the political parties, the National Peace Council, the National Commission for Civic Education and all well-meaning Ghanaians preached peace through many messages.
During the special voting exercise on 1st and 4th of December, 2016, many voters were unable to cast their ballot due to missing names from the special voters lists prepared by the EC. This resulted in the disappointment of many, a situation the EC apologized for. As a result, many Ghana thought such an anomaly might befall the 7thDecember, 2016.
On the voting day, as against popular fear, voting started peacefully with little incidences. The staff of the EC, security forces and many other stakeholders kept the peace and ensured an almost incident-free election albeit few instances of election-related malpractices which could not mar the outcome of the whole process, however.
The victory for Nana Akufo-Addo, the leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party and the acceptance of the outcome by the incumbent President and leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress has been lauded all Ghanaians and the international community. This indeed is a win for all the actors involved in this year’s election and most importantly, a win for Ghana. The EC has subsequently declared Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo, the President elect for the 2016 elections in Ghana, and once again, Ghanaians have underscored the fact that they are peaceful and prepared to uphold democratic rule.