Ghana Elections: Ex-President Mahama Rejects Result, Seeks Rerun

(COMBO/FILES) This combination of file pictures created on December 04, 2020 shows Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo (L) attends the fifty-sixth ordinary session of the Economic Community of West African States in Abuja on December 21, 2019, and Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama (R) upon his arrival at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on September 27, 2016. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN, Kola SULAIMON / AFP)

 

Ghana’s opposition leader John Mahama, the runner-up in this month’s disputed presidential election, filed a case before the Supreme Court seeking a rerun of the vote which he has rejected as “fraudulent”.

He asked the court for an “order of mandatory injunction directing the Electoral Commission to proceed to conduct a second election”.

The petition charges that the announcement on December 9, two days after the vote, of victory for Mahama’s arch-rival Nana Akufo-Addo was “unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.

The announcement was “made arbitrarily, capriciously, and with bias”, the petition reads.

Mahama, 62, also wants the court to restrain Akufo-Addo from “holding himself out as president-elect”.

The electoral commission declared 76-year-old Akufo-Addo winner with 51.59 percent of the vote, followed by Mahama with 47.36 percent.

Mahama told a news conference afterwards: “I stand before you tonight unwilling to accept the fictionalised results of a flawed election. We will take all legitimate steps to reverse this tragedy of justice.”

Observers, both Ghanaian and foreign, viewed polling in the West Africa country as generally free and fair, but police said five people were killed and 19 injured in election-related violence.

Akufo-Addo and Mahama had signed a symbolic peace pact ahead of the vote.

It was the third election battle between the rivals, and in 2012 it was Akufo-Addo who contested Mahama’s win.

Ghana Postpones Jerry Rawlings’ Funeral

A file photo of former Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings.

 

Ghana on Thursday postponed the funeral of its charismatic former president Jerry Rawlings, saying the delay was due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

Rawlings, who died on November 12 at the age of 73, held sway for two decades, first as a military ruler and later as elected president.

His funeral was initially scheduled for December 23.

But the Foreign Ministry, in a statement to diplomats and foreign agencies, said that “due to unforeseen circumstances, the funeral will not be held… as planned.”

A new date will be announced later, it said.

READ ALSO: Ghana Opposition Supporters Protest Against Election Results

The statement gave no further details but local media said the postponement was caused by a family dispute.

A former air force flight lieutenant, Rawlings twice overthrew governments through coups in 1979 and 1981 but was widely seen by the poor as their champion.

Ghana today is often considered a beacon of stability in a turbulent region.

It held elections on December 7 which saw the incumbent president, Nana Akuffo-Ado, win a second term, defeating long-time rival John Mahama.

AFP

Ghana Election Should Be ‘Eye-Opener’ For Nigeria – Atiku

A file photo of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Thursday said Nigeria should learn from the “smooth conduct” of elections in Ghana.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo won a second term after a tightly contested presidential election, the country’s electoral commission announced on Wednesday.

“Congratulations to President @NAkufoAddo on his reelection,” Atiku said on Twitter.

“The smooth conduct of the Ghana elections should be an eye-opener to our nation.

READ ALSO: Ghana’s Opposition Rejects Election Results

“We must undertake far-reaching electoral reforms that address the shortcomings of our previous experiences and strengthens our electoral process.”

Although the Ghanaian election was considered largely peaceful, five people were killed in election-related violence, police said on Wednesday.

The opposition party has also rejected the results and said it will appeal the electoral commission’s decision.

Ghana’s Opposition Rejects Election Results

Former Ghanian President and candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama speaks during the signing of the presidential election peace pact in Accra, on December 4, 2020.

 

Ghana’s opposition has rejected presidential and parliamentary election results, a party official said late on Wednesday and intends to take steps to appeal the electoral commission’s decision.

“Overwhelming evidence available makes it impossible for us to accept this spurious and hurried conclusion,” Haruna Iddrisu, a member of parliament for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party said, after the electoral commission announced President Akufo-Addo had won Monday’s vote with 51.59 percent, beating the NDC’s leader Mahama’s 47.36 percent.

READ ALSO: Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo Wins Second Term

“We intend to take decisive and concrete steps, both with the presidential and parliamentary results, to overturn this brazen and shameless attack on our democracy,” said Iddrissu, speaking at a press conference in the capital Accra.

The West African country is known for its stable democracy, but tensions rose Tuesday after Mahama claimed to have won a parliamentary majority and warned Akufo-Addo, of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) against stealing the vote.

Mahama, 62, charged that Akufo-Addo, 76, had harnessed the military in a bid to sway the outcome, a claim the government said was false.

“You cannot use the military to try and overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won. We will resist any attempts to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghanaian people,” Mahama said.

In a victory speech on Wednesday, the president-elect addressed his jubilant supporters, calling for peace.

“Now is the time, irrespective of political affiliations, to unite, join hands and stand shoulder to shoulder,” Akufo-Addo said.

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.

Hoping to retain that reputation, Akufo-Addo and Mahama on Friday had signed a symbolic peace pact, which the 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS urged “all political parties and their leadership to respect.”

AFP

WAFU Cup: Flying Eagles Lose To Ghana

Flying Eagles starting line-up against Cote d’ Ivoire’s U-20 team.

 

Ghana’s black satellites on Wednesday defeated Nigeria’s flying eagles 1 – 0 in both sides’ second group game of the WAFU B U-20 Nations Cup being held in Port Novo, Benin-Republic.

Precious Boah’s well-taken free kick in the 82nd minute sent Ghana through to the tournament’s semi-final.

READ ALSO: Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo Wins Second Term

The Flying Eagles will now hope that Ghana beat Cote d’Ivoire by, at least, a two-goal margin on Saturday to have a chance of qualifying for the last four.

Nigeria’s first game at the tournament ended in a one-all draw with Cote d’Ivoire.

Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo Wins Second Term

President and candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo addresses supporters during the final day of campaigning at James Town in Accra, on December 5, 2020 (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has won a second term after a tightly contested presidential election, the country’s electoral commission announced Wednesday, beating long-time opponent John Mahama.

Akufo-Addo of the centre-right New Patriotic Party (NPP) received 6,730,413 or 51.59 percent of votes while Mahama of the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC) received 6,214,889 or 47.36 percent of votes, the commission’s chairperson Jean Adukwei Mensa said.

 

Parliamentary results for the country’s 275 constituencies are yet to be announced, but are expected to be very close. Both parties are contesting some of the provisional results.

Mahama, 62, and Akufo-Addo, 76, are old rivals who have faced off at the ballot box twice before.

Mahama was president for four years until 2016, before being succeeded by Akufo-Addo. Both of those elections were determined by small margins.

 

Ghanaian incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo, and candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), validates his registration before casting his vote at a polling station in the Eastern Region district of Kyebi on December 7, 2020 during Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, turnout was high on Monday, with 13,434,574 people voting or 79 percent of registered voters, according to the electoral commission.

While the vote was largely peaceful, five people were killed in election-related violence, police said Wednesday, casting a shadow over a country hailed for its stable democracy.

 

Ghanaian incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo, and candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), speaks to the press after casting his vote at a polling station in the Eastern Region district of Kyebi on December 7, 2020 during Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

 

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

 

 

Five Killed In Ghana Electoral Violence – Police

 

Supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) sing, dance and gesture on the main road of the Electoral Commission, in Accra, Ghana, on December 8, 2020, as Ghanaians await results of presidential and parliamentary elections that passed off peacefully, reaffirming the country’s reputation for stability in a troubled region
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

Five people have been killed in violence linked to Ghana’s elections, the police said on Wednesday.

“Sixty-one electoral and post-electoral incidents nationwide” were reported, they said in a statement issued two days after the vote.

Of these, 21 “are true cases of electoral violence, six of which involve gunshots resulting in the death of five.”

The electoral commission published results from seven out of the country’s 16 regions, pointing to a narrow lead by opposition candidate John Mahama over outgoing president Nana Akufo-Addo.

 

READ ALSO: Ghana Vote Count Tight As Accusations Fly

 

Monday’s presidential and parliamentary vote has been viewed by observers as generally free and fair.

But Mahama late Tuesday accused Akufo-Addo of showing “credentials that are very undemocratic” and harnessing the military to sway the outcome.

“You cannot use the military to try and overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won. We will resist any attempts to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghanaian people,” the 62-year-old former president said.

He made the accusations after rumours circulated on social media that he had conceded defeat.

Hours earlier, the presidency — releasing an unofficial tally — claimed Akufo-Addo was ahead with 52.25 percent of the vote, against Mahama’s 46.44 percent.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told a press conference that allegations of intimidation by soldiers were false.

He also bluntly rejected Mahama’s claim that his party had won a majority, of 140 seats, in the 275-member parliament.

“No candidates at this stage should undermine the work of the EC (electoral commission), it is irresponsible and it would endanger the peace of this country,” Oppong Nkrumah warned.

Mahama and Akufo-Addo, 76, are old rivals who have faced off at the ballot box twice before.

Mahama was president for four years until 2016, before being succeeded by Akufo-Addo. Both of those elections were determined by small margins.

Despite the sharp words, Ghana has a history of electoral stability and grievances are typically pursued through the courts.

Akufo-Addo and Mahama on Friday signed a symbolic peace pact, which the 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS urged “all political parties and their leadership to respect.”

In a statement, the Economic Community of West African States said, “We appeal to political parties and their followers to refrain from any conduct that may undermine the successful conclusion of the electoral process.”

-AFP

 

Ghana Vote Count Tight As Accusations Fly

Former Ghanian President and candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama (L) and incumbent Ghanian President and candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo (R) exchange greetings after signing the presidential election peace pact in Accra, on December 4, 2020, ahead of the December 7, 2020 presidential elections
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

 

The first regional results Wednesday in Ghana’s elections pointed to a tight race for the presidency after the two main camps traded heated words over accusations of electoral fraud.

The electoral commission published results from seven out of the country’s 16 regions, pointing to a narrow lead by opposition candidate John Mahama over outgoing president Nana Akufo-Addo.

Monday’s presidential and parliamentary vote, in a country viewed as a beacon of democracy in West Africa, has been viewed by observers as generally free and fair.

But Mahama late Tuesday accused Akufo-Addo of showing “credentials that are very undemocratic” and harnessing the military to sway the outcome.

“You cannot use the military to try and overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won. We will resist any attempts to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghanaian people,” the 62-year-old former president said.

He made the accusations after rumours circulated on social media that he had conceded defeat.

Hours earlier, the presidency — releasing an unofficial tally — claimed Akufo-Addo was ahead with 52.25 percent of the vote, against Mahama’s 46.44 percent.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told a press conference that allegations of intimidation by soldiers were false.

He also bluntly rejected Mahama’s claim that his party had won a majority, of 140 seats, in the 275-member parliament.

“No candidates at this stage should undermine the work of the EC (electoral commission), it is irresponsible and it would endanger the peace of this country,” Oppong Nkrumah warned.

Mahama and Akufo-Addo, 76, are old rivals who have faced off at the ballot box twice before.

Mahama was president for four years until 2016, before being succeeded by Akufo-Addo. Both of those elections were determined by small margins.

Despite the sharp words, Ghana has a history of electoral stability and grievances are typically pursued through the courts.

Akufo-Addo and Mahama on Friday signed a symbolic peace pact, which the 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS urged “all political parties and their leadership to respect.”

In a statement, the Economic Community of West African States said, “We appeal to political parties and their followers to refrain from any conduct that may undermine the successful conclusion of the electoral process.”

-AFP

Ghana Opposition Candidate Mahama Warns Against Electoral Fraud Ahead Of Results

Ghana
A file photo of John Mahama.

 

Ghana’s opposition leader on Tuesday warned President Nana Akufo-Addo against any attempt to steal this week’s election, as both sides claimed they were winning ahead of official results of the vote, largely deemed free and fair by observers.

The strong statement by opposition candidate John Mahama raised the temperature after Monday’s presidential and parliamentary polls in a country known for stability in a troubled region.

“Some of what is happening is unacceptable and Nana Akudo-Addo continues to show credentials that are very undemocratic,” Mahama told a hastily convened press conference in the capital Accra Tuesday evening.

“You cannot use the military to try and overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won. We will resist any attempts to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghanaian people,” the 62-year-old former president said.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told a press conference — convened just minutes after Mahama spoke — that allegations of intimation by soldiers were false.

The electoral commission has yet to announce the final official results but the race was expected to be close between Mahama and Akufo-Addo, 76, of the centre-right New Patriotic Party (NPP), with recent polls putting the incumbent narrowly ahead.

The presidency released an unofficial tally on Tuesday claiming that results from 91 percent of polling stations showed the president with 52.25 percent of votes and Mahama with 46.44 percent.

Mahama, the leader of the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC), meanwhile claimed that his party had won a majority — 140 — of the 275 seats in parliament.

“We thank the Ghanaian people for the confidence they’ve expressed in us. It’s clear, the Ghanaian people want change in this country,” Mahama said.

The government strongly rejected the opposition’s claim that it had won a parliamentary majority, saying the announcement “could endanger the peace of this country.”

READ ALSO: Indonesia Holds Nationwide Poll Despite COVID-19 Warnings

Oppong Nkrumah said “this dog whistle to supporters by the candidate to jubilate, to get out on the streets” was “categorically irresponsible and it flies in the face of good conduct.”

– ‘Isolated challenges’ –
The electoral commission has urged the public to wait, saying it was “working round the clock to ensure that the collated results are accurate and a true refection of the will of the people”.

“The commission will release all the certified results as soon as they are received,” it said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

At a polling station in Accra’s Jamestown neighbourhood, dozens of election staff spent Monday night counting ballots while party officials, journalists and election observers watched, some half asleep.

Outside the gates, guarded by a police tank and a handful of armed guards, some residents of the poor neighbourhood were nervous.

“People are saying NDC won but I voted NPP!” said Rebecca Vorsah, a 20-year-old student among the nation’s 17 million registered voters.

Some 12,000 observers deployed on voting day across Ghana gave the process a relatively clean bill of health.

A coalition of observers, CODEO, said its 4,000 observers reported a total of 254 incidents during the voting process.

“While there were some challenges, these challenges were isolated and did not undermine the process’s overall credibility,” it said in a statement.

– Economic woes ahead –
There has never been a second-round in Ghanaian elections and the two main parties have handed over power peacefully seven times since the return of democracy more than 30 years ago.

Post-electoral grievances have always been pursued through the courts.

To ensure its continued tradition of peaceful polls, Akufo-Addo and Mahama signed a symbolic peace pact on Friday.

The stability in Ghana contrasts with that of other countries in the region, with deadly unrest this year in Guinea and Ivory Coast.

Key issues that voters want the next government to address included unemployment, infrastructure, education and health.

The world’s second-largest cocoa-producing country has made giant strides in the last 20 years but many people still live in extreme poverty and the country faces mounting debt.

Ghana could face a recession in 2021 with double-digit inflation, according to Damina Advisors, a political risk consultancy.

AFP

WAFU U-20: Nigeria, Ghana To Clash For Semi-Final Spot

Flying Eagles players at their morning training session on December 8, 2020.

 

Nigeria’s U-20 team, the Flying Eagles will seek a place in the semi finals of the ongoing WAFU B U-20 Tournament in Porto Novo on Wednesday when they confront West African arch rivals, Ghana’s Black Satellites at the Stade Charles de Gaulles.

With only three teams in Group B and having drawn their first tie against Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, the seven-time African champions require a win to avoid any sort of permutation to advance to the knock-out stage of the competition.

In their opening match, Chris Nwaeze gave the Flying Eagles the lead in the 61st minute against the Ivorians but then got sent off for a second bookable offence as Nigeria conceded a late equalizer to drop two points.

Head Coach Ladan Bosso is upbeat about the chances of his wards, saying the lessons learnt from the opening clash would be put to good use against the illustrious opponents. “I thought we did enough to pick up the three points against the Ivorians but we lost concentration towards the tail end of the game and were punished for it.

“We controlled the game for most parts and should have won but the red card destabilised my boys and put us out of sync tactically. The clash with Ghana will be tough but we are ready. The boys understand what is at stake and I have confidence they will do the nation proud. Our target here remains the same: winning the tournament and qualifying for the CAF U20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania.”

Mike Zaruma, who captained the team against the Ivorians, echoed Coach Bosso’s optimism. “Taking only one point from the tie with the Ivorians was a tough one because we played better and created more chances to win the game. We felt disappointed but that is behind us now and Ghana is the focus. We know that we must win to enhance our chances of reaching the knockout stage.

“I believe in what we can do as a team. We are ready to pick the three points against Ghana in order to make Nigerians happy.”

Ghana Awaits Results From Tight Presidential Vote


Former Ghanian President and candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama (L) and incumbent Ghanian President and candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo (2nd R) are guided by Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah (C) and Judicial Secretary, Cynthia Pamela Addo (R) to sign the presidential election peace pact in Accra, on December 4, 2020, ahead of the December 7, 2020, presidential elections. 
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

 

Ghanaians awaited results on Tuesday from presidential and parliamentary elections that passed off peacefully, reaffirming the country’s reputation for stability in a troubled region.

Results are expected to be close between President Nana Akufo-Addo, 76, of the center-right New Patriotic Party (NPP) running for a second term, and his predecessor, John Mahama, of the center-left National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Residents of the seaside capital Accra went about their daily routines as normal on Tuesday — among them was Abdulkarim Al Hassan, repairing mobile phones in a small shop.

“I’m happy that there was no conflict or confusion but I’m sad that my winner appears to be losing,” said the 32-year-old who voted for Mahama.

“I’m disappointed but life goes on.”

Provisional estimates were put out by the presidency Tuesday morning but only the electoral commission can release official results.

According to the presidency’s tally from 91 percent of polling stations, Akufo-Addo received 52.25 percent of votes and Mahama 46.44 percent.

 

READ ALSO: Norwegian Air Secures Bankruptcy Protection In Norway

– ‘Isolated challenges’ –

The electoral commission has urged the public to wait, saying it was “working round the clock to ensure that the collated results are accurate and a true reflection of the will of the people”.

“The commission will release all the certified results as soon as they are received,” it said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

At a polling station in Accra’s Jamestown neighbourhood, dozens of election staff spent the night counting ballots while party officials, journalists and election observers watched, some half asleep.

Outside the gates, guarded by a police tank and a handful of armed guards, some residents of the poor neighbourhood were nervous.

“People are saying NDC won but I voted NPP!” said Rebecca Vorsah, a 20-year-old student among the nation’s 17 million registered voters.

Some 12,000 observers deployed on voting day across Ghana gave the process a clean bit of health with just a few incidents of intimidation reported.

“While there were some challenges, these challenges were isolated and did not undermine the process’s overall credibility,” a coalition of observers, CODEO, said in a statement Tuesday.

– Economic woes ahead –

There has never been a second-round in Ghanaian elections and the two main parties have handed over power peacefully seven times since the return of democracy more than 30 years ago.

Post-electoral grievances have always been pursued through the courts.

Twelve candidates overall are vying for the nation’s top job while members of parliament are competing for 275 seats.

To ensure its continued tradition of peaceful polls, the two main presidential candidates Akufo-Addo and Mahama on Friday signed a symbolic peace pact.

The stability in Ghana contrasts with that of other countries in the region, with deadly unrest this year in Guinea and Ivory Coast.

Key issues that voters want the next government to address included unemployment, infrastructure, education, and health.

The world’s second-largest cocoa-producing country has made giant strides in the last 20 years but many people still live in extreme poverty and the country faces mounting debt.

Ghana could face a recession in 2021 with double-digit inflation, according to Damina Advisors, a political risk consultancy.

-AFP

Ghana Holds Close Vote As Veteran Rivals Square Off

Electoral commission workers and volunteers make the last preparations for the presidential and parliamentary election at an open-air polling station, in Accra on December 7, 2020.

 

Ghanaians voted Monday in an election seen as a close fight between President Nana Akufo-Addo and his longtime rival John Mahama to lead a country viewed as a beacon of stability in troubled West Africa.

Voters queued up at polling stations from the crack of dawn to pick a president among 12 candidates and members of parliament for 275 constituencies.

As polling stations closed at 1700 GMT, raucous crowds thronged the streets of the historic Jamestown area of the oceanside capital Accra to celebrate another peaceful election.

Crowds cheered and chanted “four more years!” as incumbent president Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) cast his vote in the eastern town of Kyebi.

A November survey by the University of Ghana put Akufo-Addo ahead with 51.7 percent of support.

“I’m feeling fine, happy that the process is going well and peacefully,” the 76-year-old Akufo-Addo said.

Mahama, 62, of the National Democratic Congress party (NDC) was less gushing.

“It’s too early to make an assessment, but I understand there have been a few hitches,” Mahama said after casting his vote.

A few polling stations opened late but no major incidents were recorded by election observers across the 38,000 polling stations.

“We call on all our agents and all Ghanaians to stay alert. When voting is done and counting begins, go to the polling station and monitor the counting,” the opposition NDC’s Elvis Afriyie Ankrah told a news conference in Accra.

The main contenders have faced each other at the ballot box twice before. Mahama was president for four years until 2016, when his rival succeeded him.

Key issues in this year’s vote include unemployment, infrastructure, education and health.

– Graft allegations –
“There are no jobs. I want Mahama. The current government say they are doing this and that but it is all talk, they have not done anything for us,” said 44-year-old Aku Brown, an unemployed mother of two.

In the poor fishing village of Chorkor, first time voter Nashua Ahmed echoed her.

“The economy is very bad… The government has to make it up to us,” Brown said.

Ghana has made giant strides over the past two decades and is the world’s second-largest cocoa-producing country, but many still live in extreme poverty with scarce access to clean water or electricity.

Growth in the nation of 30 million people, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to fall this year to 0.9 percent — its lowest in three decades — according to the International Monetary Fund.

Akufo-Addo has been given high marks for his handling of the pandemic and his record on free education and improving access to electricity.

But he has disappointed some with his performance on tackling graft — the key issue on which he was elected four years ago.

However Mahama has found it hard to highlight this, as he himself left office under a cloud of corruption allegations.

Mahama has also been criticised for poor economic decisions and racking up unsustainable debts.

– Symbolic peace pact –
The relative stability in Ghana contrasts with that of other countries in the region, with deadly unrest this year in Guinea and Ivory Coast.

“We don’t go to places where democracy is fake, where it’s a theatre,” EU’s chief observer Javier Nart told AFP.

In Ghana, he said, “it’s not the Kalashnikov that commands, it is the ballot box.”

There have been seven peaceful transfers of power since Ghana returned to democracy nearly 30 years ago.

The two major parties have consistently accepted electoral outcomes and pursued any grievances through the courts.

To ensure its continued tradition of peaceful polls, Akufo-Addo and Mahama on Friday signed a symbolic peace pact.

The coronavirus pandemic has posed a challenge in this year’s election, with 10,000 more polling stations than usual set up for the nation’s 17 million registered voters.

Hand sanitisers were made available for voters, who underwent temperature checks before being let into polling stations.

AFP