Accra (Agenzia Fides) - "Following the footsteps of Jesus who did not shun his civil duties, all Christians should actively participate in the elections. We need to exercise our franchise conscientiously during the elections to secure a better country for tomorrow. We need to eschew the vote-buying syndrome and vote according to our conscience". This is the exhortation of the Bishops of Ghana for the next presidential and parliamentary elections to be held on December 7, contained in the Pastoral Letter for Lent.
The Bishops appealed "to the President of the Republic and the security agencies to provide the necessary and conducive environment devoid of fear, intimidation and hooliganism". "When people are not sure of their safety, they will not risk their lives to vote", they stress. "Every human life is sacrosanct and needs to be protected,” stating that “It is the duty of all Ghanaians to work hard to uphold the sanctity of human life before, during and after the forthcoming elections".
The Ghanaian Bishops also called on the Electoral Commission (EC) "to remain an unbiased umpire in order to restore confidence in the electoral system" and to political parties "to support and respect the independence and verdicts of the Electoral Commission".
Finally, citizens are invited "to use the social media, internet, mobile phones, etc., in a more positive and better way. These devices are not to be used to fuel hate and violent speeches".
The presidential election is expected to be a tight race between the two main contenders, incumbent Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party and the main opposition candidate John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress. If no candidate obtains a majority, then a second round is held for the two candidates who earned the largest percentage of valid votes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/2/2020)