There is optimism that the first election of this new millennium on December 7 will be devoid of any suggestion of corruption, vote rigging or intimidation. And for a continent torn by perpetual military threats, that is quite remarkable.
The recent electoral shambles in the Ivory Coast that led to some two hundred civilian deaths and spat in the face of democracy, coupled with continuing rebel challenges to the elected government in Sierra Leone, highlight the often shaky political situation across West Africa. And despite Rawlings, who first seized power in a military coup, departing voluntarily, the issue of democracy dominates events. Since independence in 1957, Ghana’s democratic track record has been turbulent and frequently interrupted.
The President has already worried citizens by departing from a prepared speech at the launch of the National Democratic Congress party’s (NDC) manifesto to say that multi–party democracy does not work in Africa.