The rejected title was “Promising Polls.”
The month of January featured not one but two notable inaugurations. As Barack Obama headed toward the White House, the arrival of John Atta Mills in Ghana‘s presidential palace also signaled a hopeful advance for democracy. In a free and fair runoff election monitored by EU observers, Atta Mills of the social democratic National Democratic Congress (NDC) defeated Nana Akufo-Addo of the free market-oriented incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) by a margin of less than 0.5 percent. Atta Mills campaigned to bridge the country’s development gap and stop the growth of corruption, which ballooned under the NPP. His peaceful accession to power in Accra stands in stark contrast to the widespread violence that marred the outcomes of similar contests in Nigeria and Kenya in 2007, and recently in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Akufo-Addo and the outgoing president, John Kufuor, who stepped down after serving the constitutional maximum of two terms, attended the January 7 inauguration. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the “democratic achievement” of Ghana and its leaders for “setting an admirable example.”
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Picture credit: bbcworldservice (via Flickr)