Ghana's sixth elections since its return to multiparty rule in 1992 have ended peacefully with observers across the globe describing it as generally free and fair.
In spite of the late arrival of election officials at some polling centres and the breakdown of the biometric equipment, the electorate were all given the opportunity to exercise their franchise.
The Electoral Commission (EC) made sure that at places where voting started late due to factors like late arrival of officials and materials, as well as the breakdown of equipment, the voting exercise was extended to the next day so that no eligible voter was disenfranchised.
During the voting period in some polling centres last week Friday, voters and leaders of political parties went through anxious moments while they waited for ballot papers or repair of broken-down biometric equipment.
The fact that we have been successful this far with the elections even as first-time users of the biometric voting equipment speaks a lot about our democratic process.
After the sixth successful polls, we are on the threshold of establishing Ghana as the biggest democratic state in Africa where many countries are in the throes of disintegration because of disputed elections.
We have many examples of states building from the ashes of elections violence in the West African sub-region from where we can draw useful lessons to guide our democratisation process.
From hindsight, Ghana has not arrived at this momentous period without very anxious moments even during this year’s electioneering. The resort to innuendoes from across the political divide as the campaigns reached fever pitch and even on election day were quite worrying.
It is, however, refreshing that despite the counter-claims for victory as the results of the polls trickled in, cool heads are beginning to prevail as the winners are being separated from the losers.
Elections are very emotive matters. They concern the struggle for power and the resources of a country. And, therefore, during the period of electioneering, the polemics can be explosive and threaten the very foundation of an otherwise peaceful society.
Even fine gentlemen and ladies can sometimes lose their temper and say or do things that can ordinarily be resolved at the negotiation table.
The DAILY GRAPHIC thinks that in all these processes towards the election of our President and Members of Parliament (MPs), the ground rules will be accepted and applied by all.
As a young democratic state, we may still have gaps in applying the regulations to the satisfaction of all. Nonetheless, if stakeholders know rules, as is required under rule of law, they may make a conscious effort to play by them.
Going into this year’s polls, the people were faced with many controversies such as the introduction of the novelty biometric registration equipment and the creation of additional 45 constituencies.
Despite the challenges, we were able as a people to reach certain compromises that by and large helped to consolidate the country’s democratic process.
In a contest for power, there will certainly be aggrieved parties. We shall demonstrate maturity if we embrace the aggrieved and find answers to their grievances instead of being dismissive of them because they are losers.
There are certainly big-time winners and losers of the polls. But Ghana will be the big-time winner, if we all embrace the outcome of the polls and at the end of the day see to the improvement of the country’s democratic outlook.
First of all, the Daily Graphic congratulates the contestants for the office of President and Parliament and pray that they will accept the outcome of the polls graciously.
Those with grievances must present them within the confines of the regulations while those in whose bosom the regulations rest give them a hearing.
We urge the winners to be modest in their celebrations and to the losers, we wish them better luck next time.
To the people of Ghana, we say kudos for once again holding the flag of Ghana aloft as the shining democratic state in Africa.
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