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Ghana cancels Sunday services for election: CEN 11.28.08 p 6. November 30, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa, Politics.
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Sunday services have been cancelled in Ghana to encourage voters to participate in the Dec 7 General Elections.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Accra and the Anglican Diocese of Tamale have instructed clergy to hold services on Saturday evening, Dec 6, so as to not to interfere with polling on Dec 7. Archbishop Justice Akrofi, the Primate of West Africa and Bishop of Accra told The Church of England Newspaper, he has instructed his diocesan clergy to conclude Sunday worship no later than 9:00 am.

Archbishop Akrofi told CEN that under the Ghanaian constitution, elections must be held on Dec 7. It was the church’s duty, he argued, to do all it could to support the growth of democracy and work with the government to ensure free and fair elections.

Next week’s elections are seen as a test of West African stability. Coups in Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau earlier this year along with the fragile political health of Sierra Leone and Liberia, Archbishop Akrofi said, demonstrate the importance of free and fair elections in Ghana.

Upon independence 51 years ago, Ghana under its first president, Kwame Nkrumah, had prided and projected itself as the “Black Star of Africa,” seeing itself as a model for modern Africa. However, 21 years of military rule and 6 of a one party state had held back the country’s social and political development, he noted.

On Dec 7 voters will select a president to serve a four year term, and seats for the 230 member parliament. The Anglican Church has not endorsed any one party, he noted, and its members could be found among the ranks of a number of the contending parties, Archbishop Akrofi said.

However, it was important for all citizens to exercise their democratic franchise and the church stood behind them in supporting democracy, the archbishop said.

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