A week after Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections, businesses are returning to normal in the West African country with shops opened fully for commercial activities.
A visit by Xinhua to the commercial center of the southeast port city of Tema Monday shows the area bustling with activities as several shops that remained closed last week during the polls have been re-opened.
With the Christmas festivities fast approaching, traders are taking advantage of the occasion to cash-in as much as they can.
Some of the traders told Xinhua they had to lock their shops and stayed home out of fear during election day till the declaration of results by the Electoral Commission (EC).
“I closed my shop after voting on Dec. 7 out of fear of possible violence. I am only re-opening today because there is relative peace in the country even though former President John Mahama and his party said they are not accepting the results,” Agnes Owusu, a retailer of dresses at the main community one market in Tema said.
Elections in Ghana have always been characterized by some apprehension and uncertainty and in some instances pockets of demonstrations and violence hence many stay indoors and wait till the situation improves before they go to town.
Henry Djangmah, a trader at the Ashaiman market, near Tema, said that “I decided to stay home and wait to see if there is total peace in the country before I opened my shop. I am happy life has returned to normalcy we can go about with our business.”
A little over 17 million Ghanaians went to the polls last Monday to elect a president and 275 members of parliament (MPs).
International observers including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and local group, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) described the election as generally free, fair, transparent and peaceful.
In all, 11 aspirants and an independent candidate contested the presidential election, and 48 hours after voting, incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo was declared the winner by the EC.
Akufo-Addo beat his closest challenger Mahama once again in a keenly contested race. Mahama has however rejected the results declaring it as flawed and wants a declaration of the “true will of the people” to be declared.
Pockets of demonstrations and protests have been recorded in parts of the country with the most recent one being at Ashaiman on Sunday, a stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress.