Lingering fears of political violence haunt Ghana ahead of the General Election on December 7. Out of eight declared presidential candidates, it is looking like a two-horse race between the incumbent John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of the main opposition group, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Attempts by former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings to have her name on the ballot as presidential candidate for the National Democratic Party, a breakaway group from the NDC, fell flat.
Ghana’s electoral commission disqualified her on grounds that the nomination forms were not properly filed.
The military has 5,000 soldiers on standby to counter any violence. Churches and civil society groups are also urging peace.
“Politicians in Ghana are still in the business of deliberately preaching hatred, busily exploiting ethnicity, regionalism and religion just to win power,” says, Dr Kwesi Aning of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training in Accra.
He adds: “If we allow the politicians to plunge this country into chaos, it would take Ghana many years to recover….In 2008, we just managed to scrap through and we are not learning our lessons.”
A recently leaked tape which was broadcast on FM stations across the country suggested supporters of both main parties were preparing for violence. Though there have been denials on both sides on the content of the tape, there remains a lot of disquiet.
Full Article: Ghana: Worries over election violence: News-africareview.com.