January 3, 2009 (6:15 p.m. EST)
No. 1

Canada Congratulates Ghana on Successful Elections

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today issued a statement on behalf of the Government of Canada congratulating the people of Ghana on their recent elections.

"Canada congratulates the Ghanaian people for the overall peaceful, orderly and transparent manner in which the country's 2008 parliamentary and presidential elections were conducted," said Minister Cannon. "With this fifth consecutive election held under Ghana's 1992 Constitution, Ghanaians are showing that democracy and the rule of law are entrenched in their political culture."

"These elections are important for both Ghana and all of Africa. Ghanaians embraced this opportunity to serve once again as a beacon of democracy for all other African countries."

"We congratulate the newly elected President, John Atta Mills, for this victory, and his opponent, Nana Akufo Addo, for the manner in which he responded to the results. Furthermore, we commend President John Agyekum Kufuor, who is leaving office, as prescribed by the Constitution, with a freer and more prosperous Ghana as his legacy," added Minister Cannon.

"Canada and Ghana have a long history of cooperation and our ties are deepening. Canada will continue to collaborate with countries such as Ghana, which share democracy as a core value," said Minister Oda. "Recognizing the importance of this election, Canada supported a number of election-related activities through the Electoral Commission of Ghana, civil society and international organizations."

Canada will be represented at the upcoming presidential inauguration by Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board of Canada.

For more information on Canada-Ghana relations, please visit the website High Commission of Canada to Ghana and Togo.

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For more information, please contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency
819-953-6534
media@acdi-cida.gc.ca