President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described his victory over former president John Dramani Mahama as historic.
The President who was addressing at the Konrad Adenaeur Foundation’s Academy, on the theme, “Ghana, A Rising Star Of Africa, said Ghanaians wanted a change of government and in doing so, they went to the polls on December 7, 2016 to give him [Nana Addo] a historic victory which saw him unseat a president who had served only a term in office.
According to him, his victory was something that had never happened in the country adding, the parliamentary election also saw the NPP clinch majority of the seats in Ghana’s Parliament.
‘’The upshot of our collaboration was the dramatic, emphatic victory the Ghanaian people conferred on the party and my modest person on 7th December, 2016.
In a Parliament of 275 seats, we moved from 122 seats in 2012 to 169, a net increase of 47 seats, giving us some 62% of the House, and in the presidential vote, the difference between me and the then incumbent President, John Dramani Mahama, was approximately one million votes, reflecting a difference of 10 percentage points between 44% of the popular vote for him and 54% for me, in a poll of 10.6 million votes, representing 67% of the registered electorate.
In the process, for the first time in the history of Ghana’s 4th Republic, an opposition leader won the presidential ballot outright in the first round, unlike the situations in 2000 and 2008, when the then opposition leaders, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Evans Atta-Mills, needed two rounds to secure victory.’’
The December polls he said was a testimony of how voters wanted a new era where opportunities for the private sector, peace, stability and rapid economic were assured.
‘’7th December, 2016 was, indeed, a good day for all those Ghanaians who believe in Ghana’s democratic engagement, and in the potential of an efficient Ghanaian private sector to drive, in conditions of social justice and solidarity, the rapid economic development of our country. We now have our work ahead of us to maintain the fidelity of the Ghanaian people to these beliefs.’’
The world he noted became surprised at the results from our polls however, Ghanaians were not surprised at all.
‘’In December last year, we went to the polls in Ghana. Before voting day, almost all the commentaries by international news outlets, and even diplomats, expressed anxiety about the outcome. In true African style, it was suggested, the incumbent would win the elections, or there might be violence and unrest.
On 7th December, 2016, Ghanaians came out in their numbers, and, in all serenity and with calm dignity, they voted and made a clear choice of the government they wanted to conduct their affairs.
For the third time during the 25 years of our Fourth Republic, Ghanaians voted to change an incumbent government. We have done it without any fuss and without expecting it to be seen as a big deal, to borrow a manner of speaking.
This is the clearest manifestation of the attachment of the Ghanaian people to democracy, and proof that democratic principles have become ingrained in our collective psyche.
Indeed, the rest of the world might have been surprised by the conduct and outcome of our elections, but the people of Ghana were certainly not surprised. I believe we can safely claim, therefore, that the foundations are now in place for a durable system of government in our country,’’ he said.