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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid