2024 SONA: I’ll Ensure Free, Fair Elections – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo


President Nana Akufo-Addo has reassured Ghanaians that he will do everything in his power to guarantee transparent, free, and fair elections.

According to him, the government will do what is expected of it to make sure that the reputation of Ghana is not damaged, and the free will of the people is manifested at the end of the electoral process.

Delivering a message on the State of the Nation in Parliament yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said he has confidence in the security services to ensure that those who might want to cause havoc or any kind of mischief to disrupt the electoral process will have no room to operate.

“Mr. Speaker, there are those amongst us who, for ideological or other unstated reasons, have never accepted multi-party democracy, and, therefore, take every opportunity to portray the governance efforts in the most disparaging manner.

“There are also those amongst us who consider the rough and tumble of politics to be beneath them, and would not want their sainted images to be soiled by what they term the dirt of politics,” he noted.

He said the political class should continuously improve upon the performance of the institutions that hold the state together, but cautioned that nobody should undermine the integrity of the arms of government for parochial reasons.

“There is definitely much room for improvement in the workings of the Executive arm of Government, the Judiciary and our Parliament,” he, however, stated.

According to him, even those who have had Parliaments as part of their governance systems for hundreds of years still make mistakes, and, sometimes, get things alarmingly wrong.

“It would be surprising if our 31-year-old Parliament did not get things wrong sometimes,” he asserted.

The President stated that democracies are founded on elections, and the holding of free and credible elections ensure that people have confidence in the government that emerges at the end of the process.

“The Honourable Members of this House, who are at the centre of it all, know more than the rest of us that this is an election year.

“The increased decibel level in all communications would ensure that even the most politically uninterested person among us would know that, on December 7, we shall be going to the polls to elect a new President and Members of Parliament,” he asserted.

President Akufo-Addo said a lot of the responsibility lies on the Electoral Commission to put the organisation in place that would ensure that we have credible elections. Government is doing its part to make the work of the Electoral Commission go smoothly.

“A lot of responsibility lies on the political parties as well, and I hope that the parties recognise that their credibility is also on the line, with some people wanting to undermine the multi-party democratic system of government.

“It is up to the parties to demonstrate that competitive elections are an honourable, character enhancing experience, and, at the end of the process, the loser will congratulate the winner, and the world does not come to an end because an election has been lost,” he posited.

For him, there is nothing inherently dirty or corrupt about politics, and nothing about elections that should generate violence.

“We, who are in politics and we who are members of political parties, owe it to ourselves, the institutions we claim to belong to, and, above all, we owe it to Ghana and the people of Ghana to make politics and elections the serious and joyful phenomenon they should be,” he stressed.

He again urged the EC to work with the political parties to iron out whatever problems there might be, adding, “I am happy that the Electoral Commission, after engaging the parties, has shelved plans to change the December 7 date.”

He said politics, after all, has been described as the art of the possible, and pointed out, “If that is what we are engaged in, it should not be beyond us to resolve the problems that come up, and concentrate on working to build the happy and prosperous country we want.”

The President said unconstitutional changes in government in parts of Africa, especially in West Africa, through a series of coup d’états and military interventions in governance, testify to an unfortunate democratic regression in the region.

“It is in the interest of democratic growth that this development is reversed as soon as possible, and we, in Ghana, continue to give maximum support to ECOWAS, the regional body of West Africa, and the African Union, Africa’s continental organisation, in their efforts to restore democratic institutions in the affected nations.

“We must help stem the tide of this unwelcome evolution, and help entrench democracy in West Africa. We believe also that a reform of the global governance architecture, such as the Security Council of the United Nations, to make it more representative and accountable, will help strengthen global peace and stability, and, thereby, help consolidate democratic rule in the world,” he noted.

He contended that it is a tired argument that was regularly used by coup d’etat apologists.

“It is also not new to have political parties and politics, in general, being denigrated, indeed, there used to be national campaigns of fear waged against politics and political parties.

“It took time and it took long battles, but, in the end, a consensus did emerge, and we opted for a multi-party democratic form of Government under the Constitution, which ushered in the Fourth Republic,” he said.

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House