News / Africa

Analyst: Ghana’s Democracy Unaffected by President’s Death

John Evans Atta Mills, the President of Ghana, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dec. 15, 2011, and talks with specialist Jennifer Klesaris.John Evans Atta Mills, the President of Ghana, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dec. 15, 2011, and talks with specialist Jennifer Klesaris.
x
John Evans Atta Mills, the President of Ghana, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dec. 15, 2011, and talks with specialist Jennifer Klesaris.
John Evans Atta Mills, the President of Ghana, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dec. 15, 2011, and talks with specialist Jennifer Klesaris.
James Butty
Political analyst Emmanuel Akwetey said Ghanaian democracy and institutions will not be affected by the sudden death Tuesday of President John Atta Mills. 

Akwetey, executive director of the Institute for Democratic Governance said Ghanaians have learned to be guided by their constitution since the days of military coups.

Ghanaian officials said Mills died a "sudden and untimely death” at a military hospital in the capital, Accra.” He was 68 years old.

The nature of the late president’s illness was not immediately announced. But Akwetey said Mills’s ill health had been known for some time.

“I don’t know the details of his sickness.  However, his health has been an issue during the campaign since 2008 within his party and, thereafter, in the battle with the major opposition parties for power.  They raised it that he wasn’t feeling well.  And so, issues about health have been in the public domain for quite some time,” he said.

Akwetey said, although the sudden death marks the first time that a sitting Ghanaian president has died in office, the country’s constitution is specific about the transition of power.

Butty interview with Akwetey
Butty interview with Akweteyi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

“Article 66 says, if the president resigns, or is removed, or died, the vice president should be sworn in immediately.  That has been complied with to the letter.  He [Vice President Mahama] has been sworn in and he has to serve the remaining term of the president, who is now out of office,” Akwetey said.

Unlike Ethiopia, where authorities there have reportedly blocked the publication of a prominent independent newspaper featuring reports on the health of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Akwetey said Ghana is becoming a more open society.

“The nature of politics and public debates makes it difficult to keep anything secret.  Now, probably the background to that is our own history.  You know, we used to be a politically unstable country with military interventions, coup d’états and so on.  But, we have come to understand that the rule of law means we must respect the constitution, and not only respect the constitution, when in doubt go straight to the Supreme Court,” he said.

Ghana is scheduled to hold a presidential election in December.  Akwetey said he suspects the ruling National Democratic Congress (NPP) will name Mahama to stand in those elections.

“He campaigned with the late Professor Atta Mills in the primaries, and so they are likely to consider him.  It’s too short a time,” Akwetey said.

He said the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has suspended its campaign for the time being in honor of the late president.

But, Akwetey said he does not think Ghana’s elections commission would postpone the election.

U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to the late President Mills praising his efforts to improve human rights and the lives of his people.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "President Mills will be remembered for his statesmanship and years of dedicated service to his country.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MOLO WILLIAM from: MOMBASA, KENYA
July 25, 2012 5:48 AM
The Ghanians have lost a great leader who was out to promote human rights in his country. May i sincerely send my heart felt condolences to the great people of Ghana- the citadel of African democracy after years of cuop de tats!

by: Ethio from: Addis Ababa
July 25, 2012 2:50 AM
We , Ethiopian must learn from Ghanaian experiance on Democracy and power transfer. We paid tribute to the late President Mills.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs