Ghana forges on…. as John Mahama is sworn-in as new President

Ghana’s John Dramani Mahama

Former Ghanaian Vice President John Dramani Mahama, has been sworn in as the new President taken the fourth batons of the nation’s leadership in her fourth Republic.

Mahama on Tuesday undertook both the Oath of Allegiance and the Presidential Oath as the Fourth President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
Mr Mahama, 53, was sworn in several hours after the 68-year-old president died at a hospital in the capital, Accra.

Led by the Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood at the Parliament, Mr Mahama took the Oaths.
The Oath of Allegiance stated: “In the name of the Almighty God swear, solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Republic of Ghana as by law established; that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of Ghana; and that I will preserve, protect and defend the

Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. So help me God.
THE PRESIDENTIAL OATH states: “Having been elected to the high office of President of the Republic of Ghana do in the name of the Almighty God swear, solemnly affirm that I will be faithful and true to the Republic of Ghana.
“That I will at all times preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; and that I dedicate myself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of Ghana and to do right to all manner of persons.
“I further solemnly swear, solemnly affirm that should I at any time break this Oath of office, I shall submit myself to the laws of the Republic of Ghana and suffer the penalty for it. So help me God.”

President Mahama later read his aceptance speech in which he paid tribute to Prof John Evans Atta Mills and committed himself to the task ahead.
The opposition has praised the swift transition to Mr Mahama, saying it showed Ghana was a mature democracy.

Mr Atta Mills, who suffered from throat cancer, had governed since 2009.
He had planned to run for a second term in elections in December.
The BBC’s Sammy Darko, in Accra, says Mr Mahama will now serve as president until the election, but it is unclear whether he will be the candidate of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) party.
Taking the oath at an emergency parliamentary session, Mr Mahama said he would govern for all Ghanaians.

“I wish Ghanaians to be assured that all is well,” Mr Mahama said.
Smooth handover

Ghana’s flag

“We are going to maintain the peace, unity and stability that Ghana is noted for.”
Mr Mahama has declared a week of national mourning.

Opposition New Patriotic Party (NNP) presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo has suspended campaigning out of respect for Mr Atta Mills, our reporter says.
NPP chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey praised the smooth transfer of power that happened within hours of the president’s death.

“Ghana actually has handled itself very well. We have never been through this before,” he said.

“Yet the transition that we saw in parliament has been very well handled, very smooth. We are showing a maturity that must encourage all Ghanaians.”
Mr Atta Mills died a few hours after being taken ill. No details have been given.
While Mr Atta Mills’s illness had always been a subject of great debate, it was never officially confirmed, correspondents say.

He had always insisted he was well, and planned to seek re-election in December’s poll.
According to a presidential aide, the leader had complained of pains on Monday evening and his condition had deteriorated.

The new sworn-in president will serve out the rest of the term of the late leader  who died suddenly Tuesday.

Ghana is scheduled to hold a presidential election in December.

Political analyst Emmanuel Akwetey, executive director of the Institute for Democratic Governance, told VOA that he expects the ruling National Democratic Congress Party to name Mr. Mahama as its candidate.

He noted that Mr. Mahama campaigned with the late president and that the time remaining before the vote is short.

He also said the main opposition New Patriotic Party has suspended its campaign to honor Mr. Mills and to help unite the nation.

The president’s office said the 68-year-old Mr. Mills died a “sudden and untimely death,” a few hours after falling ill. The nature of his illness was not given but it had been established that he died of throat cancer.

U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to Mr. Mills, praising his efforts to improve human rights and the lives of his people.

President Mills had led Ghana since January 2009, after narrowly winning the 2008 presidential election. The election was hailed as a rare example of a peaceful transfer of power in Africa.