Anxious wait for polls outcome grips Ghana
By Tasie Theodore
With tension continuing to rise over the outcome of the final vote tally in the just-concluded presidential elections in Ghana, pressure is being put on the leading actors to consider the national interest over and above their individual political ambitions.
Speaking at his residence on Friday when a crowd of his party supporters called to know the way forward, incumbent President, John Dramani Mahama appealed for calm from them and other Ghanaians, affirming that ‘whether positive or negative, he will accept the outcome of the elections.’
Mahama’s position is being viewed in the light of fact that celebrations have already begun in the opposition camp.
This however is despite the party’s leadership call for patience even as the NPP candidate Nana Akufo-Addo says he is “quietly confident” he had beaten the incumbent President John Mahama this time around.
The electoral commission has yet to release the official tally of results but Afuko-Addo told hundreds of supporters in Accra on Thursday that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had taken a majority of seats in parliament
He however went on to call for calm and urged patience to allow the electoral commission time to finish its work and deliver the results.
“We in the NPP are quietly confident that we have won a famous and historic victory,” Akufo-Addo said.
Promptly however, officials from Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) rejected the claims and said the incumbent was on track for re-election.
The electoral campaign which has been a most heated and dramatic one, and which has seen a few more novel additions to the electoral experience of the country, including the importing of the popular Nollywood actor, Nkem Owoh, aka Osuofia, to star in campaign adverts, has featured the economy as the pre-eminent area of focus.
15.7 million voters were registered to vote and the vote was conducted across two days in 28,922 polling stations, spread across 275 constituencies with 64,000 security personnel and 12,000 observers deployed.
The tension has not been helped by uncertified reports that opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, hasd won the contest. This has been widespread on social media but also on the private radio stations Joy FM and Citi FM.
The two news stations said their findings were drawn from their projections on results from the elections as announced at the constituency level.
Joy FM’s website showed Akufo-Addo winning with 53 percent of the vote with Mahama on 45.15 percent, based on a count of 217 constituencies out of 275 in total. On its part, the Citi FM variant gave Akufo-Addo 54.8 percent based on 190 constituencies.
Akufo-Addo, 72, had served as attorney general and then as foreign minister in the New Patriotic Party government, which held power for eight years starting in 2001. It is his third time running for president on the party ticket.
Significantly also, Ghana’s two strong parties regularly hold peaceful and highly competitive elections. Twice since 2000, the government of the day has been overturned.