Ecowas urges Ghana to reopen borders ahead of vote

27/12/2008
Ecowas urges Ghana to reopen borders ahead of vote

Ecowas on Friday criticised Ghana's decision to close its land borders two days ahead of a presidential run-off and urged the government to reconsider its decision.

"The closure of the borders two days before the election without adequate notice constitutes a blot on the otherwise exemplary electoral process that has been unfolding in the country," the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said in a statement.The organisation urged the government to reopen land borders "in the spirit of good neighbourliness between member states, ensuring the free movement of persons and the flow of trade in the region as well as an important confidence measure among the populations."

Ghana shares borders with Togo, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.

ECOWAS denounced a similar move ahead of the first round of the election on December 7. Ghana is a member of the regional bloc.

Ghana's national security coordinator, Sam Amoo, said the borders would be closed from Friday through Monday in the "interest of national security". Sunday's vote will pit Nana Akufo-Addo, a 64-year-old lawyer running for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), against John Atta-Mills, a law professor and also 64, of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

In the first round Akufo-Addo won 49.1 percent of the vote, ahead of Atta-Mills with 47.9 percent, according to the electoral commission.

 

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