Kofi Annan calls for credible and peaceful elections in Africa

Former UN chief calls for credible, peaceful poll in Africa

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Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for credible and peaceful election in Africa, saying it is a prerequisite for the continent’s progress.

Former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan
Former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan
Speaking at the 12th edition of the “Kronti ne Akwamu” (Democracy and Governance) public lecture in Accra Thursday night, Annan said Africans must remember that elections were a mechanism for the arbitration of political rivalries and peaceful and democratic rotation of leadership.

“However, if political rivals and their supporters do not believe the electoral process to be free and fair, then they will ultimately resort to less peaceful methods to change political direction.”

The lecture was an initiative of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) aimed towards bridging the gap between reflection, research and analysis on the one hand, and pro-democracy and good governance advocacy on the other.

“I hope to have convinced you that deepening our democracy is a crucial struggle, not just for our future prosperity and peace but also for our fundamental human aspiration to live as free men and women,” he said

Annan, Ghana’s only Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, said the country had been a success under democratic rule and advised that, no matter the challenges, criticisms should rather lead to reforms than dictatorship.

“Ghana has thrived under democracy since it was reintroduced, and our society as well as our economy has thrived as a result. We must never stop reminding ourselves of that fact. Yes, our country has its problems, but all countries have problems,” said Annan.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Christine Evans-Klock, said in the elections this year, there were great expectations and confidence that Ghana would again demonstrate to the world the importance of tolerance for diversity and strong institutions for conducting elections in peaceful and effective manner.

She said, for the UN, Ghana had become a reference point when it came to democracy and stability while its systems and institutions for conducting elections had become models that had been taken up and adopted elsewhere in the region.

“They are important assets for Ghana; never to be taken for granted,” she said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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