Ghana president re-elected as opposition rejects results

WION Web Team
Accra, Ghana Published: Dec 10, 2020, 10:45 AM(IST)

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo Photograph:( AFP )

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The West African country is known for its stable democracy, but tensions rose over Monday's presidential and legislative vote after Mahama claimed to have won a parliamentary majority and warned Akufo-Addo against stealing the vote.

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has won a second term in office, the electoral commission announced Wednesday, a result his rival John Mahama's party said it would appeal.

The West African country is known for its stable democracy, but tensions rose over Monday's presidential and legislative vote after Mahama claimed to have won a parliamentary majority and warned Akufo-Addo against stealing the vote.

In the presidential race, Akufo-Addo received 51.59 percent of the vote, beating opposition leader and former president Mahama's 47.36 percent, the electoral commission said.

The announcement was greeted with chanting and dancing by a crowd of supporters in the seaside capital Accra.

But the opposition has called the election "flawed."

In a victory speech on Wednesday, the president-elect leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) addressed his jubilant supporters, calling for peace.

"Now is the time, irrespective of political affiliations, to unite, join hands and stand shoulder to shoulder," 76-year-old Akufo-Addo said.

Observers viewed polling as generally free and fair but police said five people were killed and 19 injured in election-related violence.

The political climate soured late Tuesday when Mahama accused his rival of showing "credentials that are very undemocratic".

Mahama, 62, charged that Akufo-Addo had harnessed the military in a bid to sway the outcome, a claim the government said was false.

Mahama -- who has twice before lost to Akufo-Addo by a narrow margin, the last time in 2016 -- has yet to comment on the results. 

The full count of the 275 parliamentary seats has not been announced and are expected to be very close.

Ghana has had seven peaceful transitions of power since the return of democracy more than 30 years ago, as post-electoral grievances have always been pursued through the courts –- a rarity in the troubled region.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, turnout was high, with 13,434,574 people voting -- 79 percent of registered voters.

(with inputs)

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