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Ghana's ruling party lawmakers pledge support for new president

(Xinhua)

13:47, July 25, 2012

ACCRA, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Senior members of Ghana's ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) vowed Tuesday to support new President John Dramani Mahama to lead the country till the December elections.

Their pledge came just after Mahama was sworn in as the fourth president of the country before an emergency session of parliament following the death of President John Atta Mills.

In accordance with Ghana's constitution, Mahama, vice president, takes over the remaining term of Mills, who died Tuesday afternoon in a hospital.

Minister for Health Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin told Xinhua that the NDC party has put in place the structures to sustain governance till December, when the next presidential and parliamentary elections will be held.

The minister, a former majority leader in parliament, enjoined the Ghanaians not to panic in the current circumstances, as everything would be fine at the end of the day.

Bagbin also urged all Ghanaians to bury their differences in the moment of national grief to mourn the death of Mills, the first head of state who died in office.

He noted that the situation was a trial moment for the country, but as structures had been put in place, power transition was smoothly achieved.

He predicted that the NDC would be tested to reorganize and get a new leader to go into the December polls, for the late president is NDC's presidential candidate for the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Ben Kojo Adu-Asare, a member of parliament, said whoever took office as president would have to learn from the late president's modesty, and his respect for human beings, order and systems.

"I was prepared to go all out to see him re-elected as president, however, God has a different assignment for him," he added, sobbing.

Mills died at the 37th Military Hospital in the capital Accra while receiving treatment, according to his office. But the cause of his death was not specified.

The late president was in the United States for nine days in June for a medical check-up.

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