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Ghana’s new president Mahama promises stability

Filed under: Breaking News,International News |
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Ghana’s new president has promised to promote unity

Ghana’s new President John Dramani Mahama has pledged to uphold stability following the death of his predecessor John Atta Mills.

Mr Mahama, 53, was sworn in several hours after the 68-year-old president died at a hospital in the capital, Accra.

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

“We are going to maintain the peace, unity and stability that Ghana is noted for.”

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills President Atta Mills came to power in 2009

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.

 BBC News

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