Friday, December 9, 2016

Ghana Polls: Ban Ki-Moon urges calm

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged calm in Ghana as the West African country’s Electoral Commission collates results to declare the winner of the presidential election which took place on Wednesday.

Mr Ban Ki-Moon in a statement called on all political actors and their supporters “to exercise patience while the ballots are being counted.”

He urged that “any disputes be resolved peacefully through established legal channels.”

“In Ghana as elsewhere, the most important aspects of elections are that the genuine will of the people be reflected in the final results, and that those results be respected," he said.
Also, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has issued a statement saying any presidential candidate who loses the election must accept defeat without delay in order to calm tensions.

“In the spirit of democracy, I call on the losers to concede as quickly as possible to defuse tensions and allay uncertainties,” Mr Annan indicated through a statement posted on his website on Friday, December 9, 2016.

The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has said that it has received 210 collated results from constituencies across the county out of a total of 275 but the turnout has been disappointing.
According to the Chairperson of the EC Charlotte Osei, a 49 per cent turnout has been recorded, which is “very disappointing” compared to statistics from previous elections.

Ms Osei, who was speaking at a press conference on Friday, December 9, urged the public to remain calm as the commission will announce the final results within 72 hours.

Ahead of the official declaration of the results Mr Annan has sent a congratulatory message to stakeholders for a successful election.

“I want to congratulate the Election Commission, its staff and the people of Ghana for conducting a good election on 7 December, worthy of our democratic tradition. I also applaud the support and the diligence of the electoral observers – national and international,” he noted.

He also charged political parties and their supporters to be calm as they wait for the final results from the EC.

“I call on the candidates, their parties and their supporters to remain calm until the announcement of the final results by the Electoral Commission. There is no reason for incitement,” he stressed.

“The people of Ghana are waiting and watching, let’s not disappoint them.”



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