The Australia High Commissioner to Ghana and other seven West African countries, Gregory Andrews is urging Ghanaians to step out in their numbers to exercise their civic rights on Monday, December 7.
According to him, the alternative to democracy is dictatorship and totalitarianism, which he described as bad for human rights and healthy democracy to thrive.
Speaking in an interview with ghanabusinessnews.com, he said there is room for improvement for every democracy.
He said voting is compulsory in Australia unlike Ghana where people need to be convinced to vote.
“Voting is always on a Saturday to allow people to have time to vote. We have early voting, voting by mail and voting is like a celebration and it’s mandatory.”
He said the Australian government would be happy to share their voting system with Ghana if they (Ghana) so wish to improve on their system.
Andrews said from his observation and the impression he got from political analysts, “Ghana’s democracy is the strongest” on the African continent.
In a passionate appeal to citizens, he said; “I’m confident the Ghanaian people will have a peaceful and effective election devoid of violence and the voice of the people will be heard. I have zero tolerance for violence,” he said.
Every Ghanaian should help protect Ghana’s reputation as a peaceful and non-violence nation, he said, adding, “this is the first time I will witness an election in another country and the anticipation and enthusiasm is great.”
Ghana goes to the polls on Monday to elect presidential and parliamentary candidates after an earlier special voting exercise for security personnel, journalists and EC officials.
Candidates for the two major political parties, NDC and NPP are optimistic of winning.
The Electoral Commission in a meeting with the Interparty Advisory Committee (IPAC) has agreed on a decision which led to the president declaring December 7, 2020, a public holiday.
Over seven million voters will have the opportunity to cast their ballots through a biometric system with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols across 275 constituency in the country. Results from the parliamentary ballots will be declared at various polling stations and the winner declared by the district director of the EC while the presidential outcome will be declared by the EC chairperson Jean Mensah.
By Fred Duhoe