John Kufuor and Jerry Rawlings

MOST REVEREND Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah, Vice President of the All African Conference of Churches (AACC) at the weekend commended former President Jerry John Rawlings for not manipulating the constitutional mandate of two terms in office. 

“Our two former presidents-Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, and John Agyekum Kufuor who gracefully handed over power to their political opponents deserve commendation for not amending the 1992 Constitution to extend their presidency beyond the two four-year mandate.”

“The two statesmen deserve the accolade as pillars of modern Ghanaian democracy,” Rev Aboagye-Mensah who is the immediate past Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.

Rev Aboagye-Mensah noted that the contribution of the various political parties, civil society activists, the Electoral Commission (EC), the media, religious leaders and other democratic stakeholders have jointly led to the deepening of Ghana’s democratic credentials.

He attributed the nation’s democratic development to the cooperate ownership of the system by Ghanaians hence the national collective resolve to defend the Constitution and abide by the tenets of multi-party democratic principles.

He said Election 2008 tested the foundation of the nation and pushed the country to the periphery of electoral violence “but by the grace of God we were able to escape electoral anarchy.”

Rev Aboagye-Mensah AACC Vice President in Charge of West Africa said the parameters for Election 2012 are similar to the last general election, reiterating that as a nation “we must be guided by events in other parts of the world”.

He said: “Politics of insults do not work towards peace…it’s sad that as a nation it’s taking us too long a time to learn the basic truth; we treaded that road during the era of former presidents  and we are still treading that road, it’s time to halt and move on the road of political decency and tolerance.”.

He also cautioned the media against creating a platform for propagating politics of insult, adding the media’s positive contribution to our democratic development is eroding at a fast rate due to the increasing use of the media stage as war zone for politicians.

He also emphasized the need for cooperation with EC and other democratic stakeholders for a peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections in December.

Rev Aboagye-Mensah cautioned against vote buying, intimidation, deceptive politicking and other non-conventional methods of campaigning stressing it serves as recipe for derailing Ghana’s democracy.

He also called on religious leaders, CSOs, media, EC, political parties and the public to continue to play watchdog roles in the electoral system.


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