All the eight presidential candidates in Ghana’s December 7 election Tuesday signed what they called the Kumasi Declaration, pledging to avoid violence, impunity and injustices during and after the poll. The ceremony in Kumasi was witnessed by the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood and the two former presidents, Jerry John Rawlings and John Kufuor, and the King of the Asante, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The candidates are President John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Henry Lartey of the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP), Mr Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Mr Akwasi Addae of the United Front Party (UFP).
The rest are Mr Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Congress (PNC), Dr Michael Abu Sakara Forster of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the only Independent Candidate, Mr Jacob Osei-Yeboah
In a speech before they signed the Kumasi Declaration, President Mahama said all the candidates had signalled to Ghanaians that they stood for peace.
“Since 1992, we have as a country established strong credentials for democracy,” he said.
Mr Rawlings said, Ghana has been blessed with peaceful transitions since 1992 and had gone through many electoral processes which had witnessed uncomfortable level of threats of violence.
“We must thank God some of these did not ignite into full blown conflicts.”
Mr Rawlings said the country’s politics was now characterised by how large one spewed out insults, instead of “using common sense in debating issues,” adding that, “we cannot guarantee our peace by maintaining this way of running our affairs.”