Concede defeat “with pride” – Catholic Bishops tells Nana Akufo-Addo
The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has called on the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to exhibit high sense of statesmanship by accepting defeat with pride if he loses the forthcoming general election.
In a communiqué issued at the end of their Annual Plenary Assembly held at Koforidua in the Eastern region of Ghana, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference also admonished all political parties to show maturity in the face of defeat.
“Political parties and candidates and their supporters need to fairly contest the elections educating their supporters on the dangers of cheating. Precisely, they should discourage their supporters from engaging in multiple voting, and voting in the name of the deceased.”
“We urge all political party leaders to exhibit a high sense of statesmanship by undertaking to accept election results declared by the EC. They should be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat,” the communiqué added.
“Losing candidates and parties in a free and fair election concede defeat with pride. Good losers are also peacemakers. Good losers also command respect. Losing parties become the minority in Parliament to serve as a check for government policies and performance through constructive criticism. Both the minority and majority in parliament should have one common aim, which is the realization of the common good of Ghanaians and should therefore respect the declaration by the EC.”
The communiqué also called on the media and political parties to allow the Electoral Commission to discharge its duty as the sole body with the responsibility to declare the election results.
“All political parties and media houses are reminded to desist from declaring any results that have not been authorised by the electoral officers. The Electoral Commission is the only body mandated by law to declare the official winner of elections. In addition, we call on political parties to educate their representatives to use due process of the law to address any grievances they may have.
“After the declaration of results, we urge all to continue in the spirit of togetherness to join forces to build Mother Ghana. We appeal to all citizens to adopt a spirit of oneness and solidarity,” the communiqué signed by Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, the Bishop of Konongo-Mampong Diocese and the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference stated.
It would be recalled that after the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, Nana Akufo-Addo who lost to the then candidate Mills refused to concede defeat citing irregularities in some polling stations in the Volta region, and went to court to stop the electoral commission from declaring the result.
The court however did not grant Akufo-Addo’s request. Candidate Mills was subsequently declared winner by the electoral commission and was sworn in as president on January 7, 2009.
Three years since Akufo-Addo lost election to the late President Mills, he has still not officially conceded defeat.