GHANA last Friday and Saturday voted peacefully to perform two crucial acts.  One, to elect a president who, together with his team of ministers, would manage the country for the next four years. Two, the electorate also voted to elect two-hundred and seventy-five (275) Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent us in making laws for the country.

SO far reports that came in after the polls closed at 5:00 P.M., indicated that generally the voting was peacefully with a few hiccups, especially with delays in the arrival of electoral materials.

IT is on that score that we at Today use this medium to applaud all of us in ensuring that yesterday?s national exercise went peacefully. We still hold on to our conviction that the 2012 elections will be successful. We make this position that we have successfully displayed in five previous elections organised under this Fourth Republic that we are capable of succeeding where others have failed.

INDEED, Ghanaians displayed real courage and maturity in 1992 when the opposition, alleging rigging of the presidential polls and boycotting the parliamentary elections, did not resort to violence as opposition elements in certain countries do.  They chose to document their allegations and protests in a book, The Stolen Verdict.

THAT matured position was re-enacted in various other ways in 1996, 2000 and 2004 elections when, once again, political opponents conceded defeat and congratulated their opponents on their victory. Ghanaians would re-call how late President John Evans Atta Mills earned the accolade, ?Asomdwehene,? when he conceded defeat in the 2000 and 2004 elections; though he is gone, his deeds continue to ring through in our hearts. Hence in times like these we are calling on politicians to emulate his example.

IN 2008, when matters came to a head after two rounds of voting, reason prevailed once again and Ghana elected a new president in the fifth election of this Fourth Republic. Though it is widely speculated that New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, did not concede defeat, he deserves congratulations for calling his supporters to order and allowing cool heads to prevail.

COMING from a tradition of peaceful elections that has helped catapult the nation onto the global political map, it would have been conclusive to suggest that Ghana would re-enact events of the previous elections and go through the polls successfully.

WE should come to recognition of the fact that what unites us as a nation is more than what divides us. Upon those factors that unite us we have, over the years, built the solid foundation that holds up our Fourth Republic. Never should we permit any activity that will push us to spill even a drop of blood.

LET us work in tandem to ensure that we have a united and peaceful Ghana.


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