Thursday, April 2, 2009

UK High Commissioner applauds Ghana’s 2008 elections

The British High Commissioner, Dr Nicholas Westcott on Tuesday applauded the successful conduct of Election 2008 and described it as a "triumph for democracy" in the West Africa.

He pointed out that the matured and timely manner that the irregularities that arose during the exercise was addressed is commendable, saying Ghana did better and was quick in solving those issues than America did during its 2000 elections.

Dr Westcott who was delivering a public lecture at University of Cape Coast (UCC), on the topic 'Ghana and Britain: Parallel Histories, Converging Futures' saluted civil society organisations, particularly chiefs and the clergy for their advocacy roles that contributed to the successful conduct of the elections.

Dr Westcott gave the political history of the United Kingdom (UK) and pointed out that it had its fair share of "turbulence and instability" and it took it more than a century to stabilize and unite.

He noted that democratic development is a gradual process and therefore all emerging democracies should ensure the institution of the requisite structures including a judiciary, which has public confidence and a vibrant and liberal but responsible media.

He said the rigid enforcement of the rule of law and respect for individual rights both by the state and fellow citizens are all factors that ensure political stability and peace.

On the two countries, Dr Westcott said they both understand each other and share the same ideals and therefore there should be more co-operations between Ghana and the UK for mutual benefit, adding that, this is important especially in the face of the recent global financial crises of which both the rich and poor nations are now mutually dependent.

He said the co-operation will help share concerns of promoting peace keeping operations, combat drug trafficking as well as continue to fight the effects of climate change and encourage the link between UK universities and the UCC.

Dr Westcott announced that the UK will not only continue to support Ghana in terms of infrastructure, but will also invest in capital and create jobs in the country.

The Vice Chancellor of UCC, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman, who chaired the function said there was the need to dialogue on the past and link it with the current circumstance to bridge the future.

She said the UCC's public lectures have been designed to expand the scope of sharing ideas and reaching out to the diplomatic, educational, business, medical, judiciary and scientific fields, to partner and learn from their different perspective and emphasis.

During a public forum, both lecturers and students expressed disgust about the bitter experiences of colonialism that they said had contributed to the current poor state of African countries.

Source: GNA

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