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Volume 561: debated on Tuesday 23 April 2013

14. What recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Ghana; and if he will make a statement. (152359)

We welcome Ghana’s successful conduct of elections in December 2012, which were internationally recognised as generally free, fair and credible. The Foreign Secretary visited Ghana in March, strengthening further the already excellent Ghana-UK relationship, and I had the pleasure of attending the presidential inauguration in Accra in January.

I am a little bit surprised by the Minister’s answer to be honest. Last week some women from the Ghanaian Parliament came to Westminster, and they emphasised the value of stable institutions. As the Minister knows, a dispute about the presidential election is, fortunately, being pursued in the courts rather than on the street. Will he say a little more about discussions that the Foreign Secretary has had about that episode?

The hon. Lady is right to highlight the petition before the Supreme Court in Ghana. However, Ghana has now had six successful elections since military rule ceased in 1992, and is rightly seen as a beacon of democracy in western Africa. She is also right to say that it is essential that such disputes are delivered through the courts, rather than on the streets. In the legal process, the Supreme Court started looking at the petition on 16 April, and we anticipate a judgment within the next month or two.