The prevailing peaceful political aura of post 2020 elections leaves Ghana basking in well-deserved pride as a bastion of democracy on a continent in search of good governance:
Thanks to the electorate, candidates, the media, civil society, state institutions, state and non-state actors, all of whom have demonstrated commendable commitment to decorum and the cause of peace.
It is imperative that this is consolidated as a progressive collective responsibility. As its characteristic all of humans and institutions, infallibility cannot be de-linked from such endeavors.
Thus, preliminary challenges associated with the election process and the largely civil manner in which these challenges receive redress by appropriate authorities is indicative that the choice of a people to resolve challenges amicably through approved structures, live in peace and respect for one another is always possible.
Isolated challenges of irregularities, as characterised by all human institutions, would need to be effectively and appropriately addressed as a progressive collective responsibility. Having duly gone through the various stages of the voting processes, with party representatives playing their watchful roles with eagle eyes, voters have demonstrated important commitment to approved structures in addressing democratic concerns.
In the end, irrespective of the presidential candidate who has secured the Golden Fleece, the peace and the good people of Ghana should emerge as principal winners. Ghana’s electoral victories should begin to be conceived as shared victory, which spans beyond partisanship because the presidency and the governance system in their true senses are about management of the entire republic.
It, therefore, serves a good purpose to have a mélange of proportional political considerations, represented by various party interests converging to ensure dispassionate non-partisan view of national issues. The Parliamentary Election 2020 appears to set this welcoming agenda.
The two main presidential candidates, each of whom has once tasted power, have given extraordinarily good account of themselves and also put their claim to their political popularity to the test.
It is clear and undisputable that they both belong to two sides of the same coin: their proportionate representation in Parliament will come as a patent tribute that should impact positively on national debates which represent the truest essence of democracy in the concept of el agora, conceived as a public space, where that ‘public’ involves as many civil society members as possible.
The agora of ancient Greek city states, which gifted the world with the essentials of democracy, was a central public space where social and political concerns were discussed openly by members of the city states that could be loosely understood as a ‘gathering place’ or an ‘assembly’ which in its enhanced status is comparable to a Parliament.
The close voter score recorded at the end of the election underscores great followership for the two main major party flag bearers, whose followership will converge in Parliament to deliberate national affairs.
This is a good cause for Ghana to rejoice as in Guadeamus Igitur for the collective decision it has made through the ballot boxes.
Guadeamus Igitur, in Latin, meaning ‘Let us rejoice’, is a typical classical rendition, which is also widely accepted as the official hymn for many institutions of higher learning across the world.
Among its multiple themes, the hymn draws attention to the brevity of life, which by extrapolation is applicable to the brevity of Ghana’s voting life cycle: another four years is in the offing from 7th January, 2021.
Thus, in typical traditional rendition of a full size, public philharmonic orchestra in classical music, there is a beautiful mélange of an ensemble of a wide repertoire of musical instruments from wide ranging families including violins, horns, trumpets, pianos and the harp, some of which are played independently while others are played collectively, yet each playing an important role to the entire success story.
After a successful rendition, there is an overt celebration of collective accomplishment, which recognizes the individual and collective contributions to the performance. The beautiful art and act of the conductor, reaching out to as many members of the orchestra as possible, including from the remotest part of the squad in handshakes, incessant bows of respect, appreciation, admiration and congratulatory gestures is often a humbling appreciation collective responsibility.
It is, therefore, just and fair that, Ghanaians, having played the variety of musical instruments in the voting orchestra, come together as a common nation to enjoy what has been collectively done.
The Conductor of this national orchestra, being whoever takes the Golden Fleece has an onerous and unwavering responsibility to recognize the contribution of all.
The independent candidates, members of the famous or infamous “skirt and blouse” (split ticketing) fraternity might not be the best of comrades, but they will bring a wealth of experience and changing dynamics on board.
The President-elect will have to strive and do business with them, all in the larger interest of Mother Ghana, by extending an olive branch to them all.
For those who might be aggrieved with the turnout of events, the plea is for a recourse to appropriate state institutions of competent adjudication for redress rather than resort to violence, which would eventually negate and reverse over two decades of Ghana’s flagship leadership in peace, democracy, human rights and good governance.
Ghana has no excuse for resorting to violence because too many examples abound. In many of them, Ghana has served as key mediator in brokering and restoring peace.
As a key player in international peacekeeping missions, Ghana absolutely cannot justify a resort to violence.
Rather, Ghana should strengthen the capacity and integrity of state institutions to deliver in truth and fairness to all manner of people in all situations.
This way, durable democracy may forever flourish in freedom and justice for all. Let Ghanaians congratulate each other and sing: Guadeamus Igitur, Ghana.
The writer is a Peace programme Ambassador for the PhD/MA programme in International Studies in Peace, Conflict and Development at the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace, Universitat Jaume I, Castellon- Spain.
He is Senior Lecturer at the Takoradi Technical University, and currently a Visiting Lecturer to the Institut National Polytechnique Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Yamoussoukro- Ivory Coast.