Latest provisional results of the close presidential run-off in Ghana put the opposition National Democratic Congress in an early lead. Its candidate Prof. Atta-Mills has 4,419,419 representing 50.64% of 223 out of the 230 constituencies. The ruling NPP trails with 4,307,120 votes (49.36%).
Ghanaians are going about their normal business a day after the elections. While others are busily going to town to do their personal businesses others could be seen glued to their TV and radio sets monitoring the results as they come in.
The election itself was generally peaceful and most international observers say it was “largely free and fair.” However, there were pockets of scuffles and vandalism at some places in the West African country of 22 million population.
The U.S Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs, Dr. Jenday Frazer, has cautioned the media and political parties against acts and omissions that would endanger the country’s democracy, Myjoyonline website reported.
“The U.S calls on candidates, leadership and party officials and supporters of the NPP and the NDC to respect the citizens of Ghana by abiding by their votes that would be announced by the Electoral Commission results and refrain from provocation and incitement.
Election monitors are also investigating claims of fraud as votes in the closely-fought presidential run-off poll continue to trickle in. Supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo, of the governing party, and the opposition’s Atta-Mills claim the other side committed vote fraud and intimidation, the BBC reported.
Akufo-Addo defeated his political rival by a slim margin in the first round on 7 December but failed to obtain the majority 50%+1 votes. One of the two contenders succeeds President Kufuor whose two terms come to an end on January 7 2009.