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Election 2016: Manhyia Saved Ghana From War – Otumfuo

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The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, says the Manhyia Palace intervened to persuade the losing candidate in the 2016 general elections to accept defeat.

He insists the intervention by the Palace played a pivotal role in safeguarding the peace and tranquility of the country.

John Dramani Mahama, then the president, lost to candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in a fiercely-contested 2016 general election.

Akufo-Addo polled 53.9% of the total valid votes, while John Mahama managed 44.4%, the worse so far for an incumbent President.

Before the results were declared by the Electoral Commission, headed by the Commissions sacked boss, Charlotte Osei, both parties – the National Democratic Congress (NDC), then incumbent, and opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) – organised a press conference to each call the polls in their favour, plunging the country in a state of tension.

“At the conclusion of the last presidential and parliamentary elections, the country [Ghana] stood on the edge of disaster. The UN representatives and the diplomatic community were aghast, alarmed that Ghana was going to slip down the slope of electoral violence.

“Fortunately, the moral authority of the palace was at hand. We were able to intervene to persuade the losing candidate to accept his fate and fly both candidates for a quiet encounter to pave the way for a handover,” said the Asantehene.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made the revelation when he delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly on using traditional methods and culture to engender peace in the Ashanti Region and Ghana.

He cited the intervention after the 2016 polls as among the “highest examples of the crucial roles behind the curtains when the moral force of tradition is harnessed to protect and sustain the peace, unity and security of Ghana.”

He said his immense contributions has yielded positive results so far as Ghana is described as one of the emerging democracies on the African continent and the world at large.

Otumfuo further explained that he had held tripartite meetings with the outgoing and incoming presidents of Ghana after electoral results had been declared so that power would be transferred in an atmosphere of peace and unity.

“I have always held tripartite meetings with the outgoing and incoming presidents of our country and this is important because Ghana and Africa has accepted democracy as the only means of government”, he said.

The Asantehene noted that traditional leaders are very powerful and respected by their people and so he was calling for partnership between traditional authorities and elected governments to boost national growth.

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