Ghana has organised five successful elections since 1992, with an incumbent government handing over power to the opposition in 2000 and 2008.
As the November 7 elections approach, there are several campaigns aimed at ensuring that the elections are free and fair.
However, any campaign geared towards peace is not likely to work without responsible conduct on the part of the following five people:
1. President John Dramani Mahama
He is the candidate of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). As president, he has power over key institutions of state such as the police, NADMO and the BNI.
Any attempt to abuse this power in furthering his second-term ambition may be met with resistance from the opposition, leading to chaos.
2. Nana Akufo-Addo
Nana Akufo-Addo is the candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). He is hugely influential, as nearly half of Ghanaian voters supports him, according to the 2012 election result.
Much will depend on how he conducts himself. After his supporters occupied the Obraa Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra in protest against what they said was the rigging of the 2012 poll, Akufo-Addo urged them to disassemble and allow due process to take its course. He subsequently challenged the result at the Supreme Court, and when he lost, he accepted the decision of the court although he said he did not agree with it.
Akufo-Addo must continue to put the country before his personal ambitions to guarantee peaceful election in 2016.
3. Madam Charlotte Osei
She is the chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the referee of the November elections. She must be impartial, conforming to the highest ethical and professional standards in her work. Any perception of bias on her part could provoke violence.
4. COP John Kudalor
He is the inspector general of police, and will oversee security arrangements for the election. He must be impartial and professional, ensuring that the police are not used to suppress the opposition or aid the ruling government in the elections. The police must also be in a position to stop political elements who may want to destabilise the country during the elections.
5. Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante
He is the chairman of the National Peace Council. The council serves as a mediator between the political parties and a voice of reason and restraint during elections when a lot of people are on edge. He must be seen as credible and impartial if he is to be able to do this job effectively.