Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New president in Ghana

The presidential election in Ghana was mentioned here earlier as a comparison to the recent Nigerian election. After a run-off, the process seems to have been successful.

New Ghana president sworn in

"John Atta Mills, Ghana's new president, has taken office following a peaceful but tense election that secured the country's status as one of the continent's few stable democracies.

"Tens of thousands of people crowded Independence Square in Accra, the capital, for the inauguration of Atta Mills, who won a run-off election last month with over 50 per cent of the vote.

"The closest election in the country's history marked the second time power in Ghana has been transferred from one legitimately elected leader to another.

"Analysts say the handover proves democracy in the country has matured after an era of coups and dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s, but tensions still ran high during the election and some had feared violence could erupt...

"Atta Mills, 64, served as vice president under Jerry Rawlings, a former coup leader who stepped down in 2001, and will have to dispel any notion his rule will hark back to Rawlings' strongman era.

"The election was the third time Atta Mills had run for president.

"He spent much of his career teaching at the University of Ghana and served as the country's tax chief under Rawlings.

"Atta Mills earned a doctorate from London's School of Oriental and African Studies before becoming a Fulbright scholar at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California."

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At 7:54 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Background on Ghanian politics

Ghana’s Unlikely Democrat Finds Vindication in Vote

"IT was the eve of a historic election, and the reluctant father of Ghanaian democracy was in the mood to talk. Eager, in fact. Jerry John Rawlings, the nation’s former military ruler turned civilian president, could hardly sit still...

"Almost eight years after voters rejected his chosen successor, Mr. Rawlings, a man who looms larger than almost any other in this iconic nation for African liberation, was on the verge of vindication...

"Africa’s vast stage has seen many complex players, but few match the contradictions of Mr. Rawlings, the ruthless military man who seized power at the age of 31 and then oversaw the summary executions of his rivals, only to later usher in a new era of prosperity and democracy.

"Mr. Rawlings, 61, was an unlikely savior for a country that from its founding represented Africa’s brightest hopes, but that in its disappointment of those hopes became emblematic of a continent’s malaise...


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