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Archbishop of York calls for peaceful elections as Ghana prepares to go to the polls: CEN 10.10.08 p 6. October 13, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa.

The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu has added his voice to the call for peaceful elections in Ghana.

In his first visit to the West African country, Dr. Sentamu paid a formal call on Oct 2 to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene (King of the Ashanti people) at the royal palace in Kumasi. The Anglican Church and the Ashanti royal house had long been linked, he said, and urged the king to use his office to further the “cause of humanity.”

The Asantehene thanked Dr. Sentamu for his prayers, and stated the Anglican Church must play a key role in the moral regeneration of the Ghanaian people, and continue to preach the “unadulterated world of God” in the “face of challenges” from the secular world.

Dr. Sentamu asked “God to strengthen the Asantehene and shower his blessings as he dispenses justice and also fight for the cause of his people” and expressed hope the forthcoming national elections would serve the country well.

In December Ghana goes to the polls to elect a new government. Anglican bishops across the country have urged voters to vote wisely and well, pausing first for prayer before they cast their ballots.

On Oct 5 the Bishop of Koforidua, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Quashie urged voters to reject the politics of division, and cast their ballots for leaders who would unite Ghana. Bishop Emmanuel Arrongo used his presidential address at the Diocese of Tamale’s synod meeting on Oct 4 to urge the leaders of the New Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to eschew political violence.

“The two parties should publicly and sincerely pledge never to crush each other,” he told synod, denouncing the heated rhetoric used by partisans so far in the campaign.

In a newspaper interview published last week, the Bishop of Sekondi, the Rt. Rev. John Kwamina Otto said the two leading presidential candidates, former foreign minister Addo Akufo-Addo of the ruling NPP and former vice-president John Mills of the NDC, were both qualified to lead the country.

Bishop Otto told the Ghanaian Chronicle that based on his personal experience of the two political leaders, both men had the moral character necessary to be president. Akufo-Addo was a former parishioner and “faithful” Anglican, while the bishop stated that when he had served in the army, he had come to know Mills as an honest leader.

However, the rhetoric of the campaign had become worrying, he said, as both candidates appeared to be promising more to voters than they could realistically deliver.

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