More Links in News & Events

Ghana Voter Committed to Peaceful Election Process; Encourages Peers to Vote

As the sun rose on Ghana's second election day in two weeks, Alice Appoh had already stood in line for hours to wait for voting to begin, her two-year-old child sound asleep on her back. Thousands of fellow Ghanaians displayed similar enthusiasm as they queued outside polling stations across the country, eager to express their views peacefully through the ballot box.

Ghana's 2008 elections were intensely competitive – after no candidate won a simple majority during the Dec. 7 vote, a runoff was held between the top two candidates on Dec. 28. The winning candidate prevailed by a margin of fewer than 42,000 votes in a country of more than 9 million people.

The Carter Center usually observes elections in post-conflict countries but was drawn to Ghana to support an emerging democracy facing a critical and very competitive election.

"The only thing certain about the outcome of Ghana's elections on the eve of them was their uncertainty," said Carter Center Vice President for Peace Programs John Stremlau.

Despite the threat of potential violence, most Ghanaians were committed to peace, and as the election approached, they expressed that to their peers, to observers, and to anyone who would listen in the busy streets of capital Accra.

"It is my duty as a Ghanaian to ensure a peaceful democratic process," said Appoh.

For voters like her, the presence of election observers helps deter interference or fraud and reassures them that they can safely and secretly cast their ballots.

Ghana again proved that it can hold a successful election – its fifth since military rule ended in 1992 – and President John Atta Mills was inaugurated on Jan. 7, 2009.

The Carter Center continues to monitor the post-election environment and remains active in the country to eradicate the neglected diseases Guinea worm and trachoma.

Read more about the Carter Center's election observation in Ghana.

Alice Appoh of Ghana Alice Appoh of Ghana felt it was her duty as a Ghanaian to encourage a peaceful election process.
Voter Alice Appoh talks with a Carter Center observer while waiting in line to vote.

Read more about the Carter Center's work in Ghana >>

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top