President Akufo-Addo has narrated the tortous ordeal he went through when he lost two successive elections in 2008 and 2012.
For him, it was but a painful ordeal he had to go through but had to endure in the larger interest of the country.
This was when he addressed high level parliamentary seminar of the ECOWAS Parliament under the theme ‘two decades of democratic elections in ECOWAS member states: achievements, challenges and the way forward’ in Winneba this morning.
He could not but admitted that “It is painful enough to lose an election. I can testify to that.”
He said “there will always be winners and losers in an election.”
That notwithstanding, he noted that “the pain should not come with a suspicion of having been cheated.”
Instead, he insisted that “the winner should be warmly congratulated and support extended to enable our many problems to be tackled.”
Then only he said will the winner have the peace of mind for the serious business of governance.
He therefore stressed the need for all stakeholders in the election process to work to ensure that there are no lingering questions about the legitimacy of an election.
That, he said was because “in the last 20 years, the world has come to acknowledge that elections in the ECOWAS community have been largely free, fair, and credible” with their outcomes generally being acclaimed and accepted.
The President thus noted that “it is vital we maintain this reputation and do not allow any manipulation of the electoral systems to achieve favourable outcomes.”
“The protection of the sanctity of the ballot box carries with it the subversion of good governance”, he said, whilst insisting that “good governance should and must be imparitivelyexclude political maneuvers to maintain power beyond constitutional requirements.”
“Let us all be aware that beyond that the marriage between the elected and the electorate becomes forced, the environment becomes toxic and the mandate becomes precarious”, he emphasised.
It is for this reason he said the Authority of Heads of States and Government of the ECOWAS which he chairs has asked the Commission to take steps towards an urgent review of the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance to take account of contemporary developments.
He has since associated himself with the call members of tge ECOWAS parliament to contribute to this process of review.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent