Ghana: Voting ends, counting begins


ghana_electionsVoting has ended in a generally peaceful election run-off in West Africa’s peaceful nation of Ghana. Counting of ballot papers currently underway in the over 22,000 polling centres throughout the country. Turnout was not as impressive as the first round held in December 7 2008, the media reported.
The election itself was characterized by alleged irregularities and pockets of skirmishes in some parts of the country notably Ashaiman constituency in the industrial city of Tema, Odododiodoo in the Greater Accra region and some parts of the Ashanti and Volta regions – NPP and NDC strongholds respectively.
The police and military were readily on the spot to quell violence.

The run-off was between the ruling New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo and the opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills. Both could not gain the constitutionally required over 50% votes in the first round. The winner of this election wins by a simple majority.

The two major parties have issued counter press statements saying they might not accept the results in some parts of the country if the Electoral Commission does not address their claims. The NPP said its certified polling agents were refused entry to polling centres in the opposition NDC stronghold of the Volta Region. The NDC also claims the NPP has employed the services of some “machomen” (heavily built men) to intimidate its supporters in the Ashanti region.

Teeming crowd built up at polling centres throughout Ghana, which has just discovered oil, as people came out of their homes to witness the counting.

In the first round Nana Akufo-Addo, a former foreign minister under the Kufuor administration polled 4,159,439 representing 49.13% of total votes cast while Prof. Atta-Mills trailed him with 4,056,634 representing 47.92% of total votes cast.

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