Ghana to Form Transition Team Following Election

In Ghana, a senior official in the presidential office says a transition team is being formed now that President John Dramani Mahama has been elected to a full term in office.

Tony Aidoo, director of monitoring and evaluation in Mr. Mahama’s office, says the team will prepare for a handover ceremony even though the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) remains in power.

Mr. Mahama was the presidential candidate of the NDC in Friday’s election. He had been serving out the term of the late president, John Evans Atta-Mills. The president-elect is scheduled to be sworn in January 7 to begin his first full four-year term.

The transition team is usually tasked with organizing a transfer of power from one government to the other after a general election.

“In this particular case we don’t have a regime succession as such, because the current incumbent is now the president-elect. Therefore the task of the transition team is very limited to the six or seven hours when we will have a power vacuum between January 6, 2013 and January 7, 2013,” said Aidoo.

“The team will take custody of state property and paraphernalia awaiting the inauguration of the new president, who will then assume responsibility for state property and paraphernalia,” he added.

Hassan Ayariga, the losing presidential candidate of the opposition People’s National Convention (PNC), has called on the president-elect to form an inclusive government as part of a reconciliation effort.

Aidoo says the ruling party already has a track record of involving members of the opposition in its administrations.

“The NDC under Mahama is no stranger to the principle of inclusive government,” continued Aidoo, “we had persons holding ministerial portfolios over the past four years who are not members of the NDC.”

Political experts say Ghanaians have high expectations that the government can address the country’s economic challenges, create jobs, improve healthcare delivery and education as well as improve infrastructure now that Ghana is an oil producing country.

Aidoo says the expectations are justified.

“President Mahama is smart enough to know that it is about time the government’s policies, programs and projects are aimed at the betterment of the lives of the underprivileged, rather than the perpetuation of classes and [the] privileged as we have seen over the years,” he said.

Both local and international election monitors said Friday’s presidential, legislative and local balloting were peaceful, transparent, and credible.

But, the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is disputing the outcome of the presidential vote, citing what it calls voter irregularities in some constituencies across the country. The ruling party has rejected the NPP’s concerns.

Meanwhile, main opposition challenger, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday in the capital, Accra, to present what the NPP says is proof of voter irregularities during the election. VOA

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