Ban Ki-Moon urges Ghanaian President and Opposition Leader to embrace peace

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has passed out a message to Ghana’s incumbent President and the opposition leader, urging both parties to embrace peace as the country prepares for elections.

General elections has been scheduled to hold in Ghana on 7 December 2016 for a President and Members of the Parliament.

The sitting members of the parliament rejected 7 December as the election date, changing it to 7 November, but a Supreme Court ruling resolved the issue and 7 December was accepted by all parties.

Reports confirm that over 16 people showed interest to run for the presidency. However, the country’s election commission disqualified 12 of them, citing incorrect filling procedures.

Some of the disqualified candidates include former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and president of the National Democratic Party.

The country was torn apart after a massive disqualification of presidential candidates, a controversial decision by the electoral commission which was accused of being manipulated.

The Electoral Commission has denied all accusations, but insists that only four presidential candidates are qualified to contest, including Ivor Greenstreet from the Convention People’s Party who is also the first physically challenged candidate to contest the presidential election.

Meanwhile the retiring UN Secretary-General advised that “everyone should continue with their role in defusing tensions towards the holding of peaceful and credible elections in the African country.”

According to a readout issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the Secretary-General had separate phone calls with John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, and Nana Akufo-Addo, head of Ghana’s opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), to discuss the general elections scheduled to take place on 7 December.

“The Secretary-General underscored the importance of an environment conducive to peaceful and credible elections, and urged the two leaders to continue their role in defusing tensions and preserving peace,” the readout said.

“Bearing in mind Ghana’s history of political stability and peaceful elections, the Secretary-General underscored the need for all political parties to sign a Code of Conduct, which will greatly assist in lowering tensions and preventing electoral violence,” the readout added.

Image: Ban Ki-moon

Meanwhile, a report from Ghana Nation says Vice President Amissah-Arthur, who paid a courtesy visit to Nai Awoshi Tetteh Odupong II, the Chief of Ofaakor in the Awutu Senya East Constituency of the Central Region, warned that “security agencies were alert and would deal ruthlessly with such deviants, who would also be made to face the full rigours of the law.”

He continues: “Political parties should advise their followers to conduct their political activities devoid of any violence; as the security agencies were determined to deal with people trouble makers irrespective of their political affiliation.”