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Lives lost during elections a sign of eroding democracy – Mahama

Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama says the death of seven people during the December 7 elections is indicative of an eroding democracy in the country.

Recounting Ghana’s journey into becoming an example of democratic rule in Africa, Mr Mahama stated, “There are many of you who are listening to me this evening who have spent your entire lives knowing only democracy.

“You know a Ghana in which every four years the citizens go to the ballot box to exercise their right to choose leaders who they believe will best serve their interests.

“You know a Ghana in which the baton of power has been passed graciously, and without incident, from one party to another”.

He, also, reminded Ghanaians of a time when “presidential terms were interrupted by coups, and former heads of state were executed”.

He added that the peace Ghanaians enjoy as a country and the stability of our democracy has been won on the backs of generations of people who sacrificed for the reality we enjoy today.

“[This] is the Ghana that your mothers and fathers, your grandmothers and grandfathers—wanted you to know. It is the Ghana that they dreamed of, and some even died trying to make that dream a reality.

For that matter, Mr Mahama, speaking in a televised address Thursday to state his reasons for petitioning the elections at the Supreme Court was concerned at the loss of lives in the December elections.

Therefore, by submitting the election petition, he hopes to see “a Ghana where institutions of State can be held to account, where we can stand on principle and demand transparency without the risk of losing our lives.

“When people lose their lives [as seven people have in the course of our election], we are moving backward [not forward], and unraveling the very fabric of our democracy. We are risking the loss of three decades worth of progress,” he said.

He further bemoaned the presence of “armed military and militia in our collation centres and election outcomes declared at the point of a gun”.

“For us who have witnessed our country’s journey through all its post-independence travails, we wonder if we have truly exorcised the ghosts of our torturous past”.

His concern follows the party’s Deputy General Secretary, Peter Otokunor, who has emphasised the party’s position to persist with their nationwide protests in order to ensure that justice is served to the families of those who lost their lives during the election period.

Mr Otukonor indicated that the protests will continue unabated with the hope of seeking justice for the lives lost.

Earlier today, an election petition was submitted at Supreme Court on Mr Mahama’s behalf to challenge the legitimacy of the incumbent New Patriotic Party’ (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo as President-elect.

According to Mr. Mahama, the NDC’s decision is to “remove all doubt” about the results of the just-ended Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

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