Politics of Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Source: Daily Graphic
President John Dramani Mahama has assured the international community that there will be no change in Ghana’s foreign policy following the death of Professor John Evans Atta Mills.
He said the government remained committed to all bilateral agreements and treaties, saying that all foreign policies would be respected.
President Mahama gave the assurance when he met members of the Diplomatic Corps to officially announce the death of Prof Mills to them and also assure them of his administration’s commitment to continue from where the late President had left off.
He said he would run an open-door policy and urged them to lend him their support.
“I recognise the weight of responsibility, but I can count on your support. Feel free to be with us as much as possible. Ghana cannot make strides without your support,” he said.
Mr Mahama praised the diplomatic community for its swift response, particularly the calls he received from many Heads of State and government to commiserate with him.
“I wish to thank you sincerely for standing by us in the moment of grief,” he stressed.
He said the Foreign Ministry would communicate the funeral arrangements to the international community when the funeral planning committee finished with its deliberations.
Mr Mahama also used the occasion to assure the Diplomatic Corps of peaceful and transparent elections, stressing that the December elections would be freer than any other.
He said adequate security would be provided to enable each and every eligible voter to cast his or her vote.
The President said the sad news had opened a new way for the country, adding, “This occasion has brought us together in grief.”
President Mahama said the first two days of the funeral — August 8 and 9 — would be used by identifiable groups and the public to file past the body before the burial on Friday.
On the appointment of a Vice-President, Mr Mahama said he had done broad consultation on the appointment and would submit the name of his Vice-President to Parliament this week.
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Mr Sini Pierre Sanou, described President Mills’s death as a “big tree that had fallen”.
He said the Diplomatic Corps had been in a privileged position to see who the late President was and eulogised his virtues as an honest, modest and peaceful man, saying, “He was a good man to work with.”
He commended President Mahama for the effort put in place to bring about a peaceful transition.**