Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that ascension to political power by anyone in Africa outside the ballot box is unacceptable.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the fifth high-level ECOWAS parliamentary seminar at Winneba in the Central Region, President Akufo-Addo said there are two time tested principles when it comes to elections and they are “the direct participation of the people in the election of leaders” and secondly, “the maintenance and operation of election systems that capture the genuine will of the people”.
He indicated that seizing political power without the will of the people in any jurisdiction or the manipulation of an electoral process in your favour, can never be right.
“The authority of a public elected officer is vested in the people and this can only legitimately be exercised through free, fair and credible elections.
“That is why having dedicated nearly half a century of my life fighting for the entrenchment of democratic values in Ghana’s body politic, the ascension to power by any other means other than the ballot box, remains for me wholly unacceptable no matter the ostensible justification,” Akufo-Addo said.
He added: “It is important to state that the strength of any democracy is very much determined by the credibility of its electoral systems and respect for the will of the people.
“We cannot overlook the fact that instability has followed disputed elections in many parts of our continent. All stakeholders in the electoral process must work to ensure that there are no lingering questions about the legitimacy of an election
“There will always be winners and loosers in an election, that is the system of government we in West Africa subscribe to.”