Ghana’s president, John Dramani Mahama, won the Dec. 7 election, defeating opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo and six others to earn a four-year term leading one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.
Mahama of the National Democratic Congress got 50.7 percent of votes cast, while Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party took 47.7 percent, Electoral Commission Chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan told reporters in Accra, the capital, today. No results from the parliamentary election held at the same time were given.
The 54-year-old Mahama, who came to office in July following the death of John Atta Mills, will face calls from Ghanaians to equitably share benefits from oil production that began in 2010 and rising output of gold. The economy, which expanded at the fastest pace in Africa last year at 14.4 percent, is projected to grow 8.2 percent this year and 7.8 percent in 2013.
Voting was extended to a second day yesterday in more than 400 polling stations after biometric machines machines used to confirm identities of voters broke down and delays in getting election materials to centers led to long lines.
“In the main, the electoral process was peaceful and transparent,” an observer mission from the Economic Community of West African States said yesterday in a statement.
Supporters of the NPP who gathered at the Electoral Commission headquarters today were pushed back by police officers on horseback. About two hours earlier, NPP Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey told reporters that the party questioned what he said were discrepancies between figures counted at polling centers and at regional collation areas and called on Afari-Gyan’s commission to conduct an audit before releasing the figures.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, general secretary of the NDC, told reporters they have “confidence in the resilience and truthfulness” of the commission. “If anybody has a problem with mathematics that should not be visited on the nation.”
There was a high voter turnout and the process was largely peaceful, Pakalitha Mosisili, former Lesotho prime minister and head of the U.K.-based Commonwealth’s observer group, told reporters today. “We urge all parties to remain constructively engaged, await the outcome and use official channels in case of any complaints,” he said.
During the campaign, Mahama pledged average annual growth of at least 8 percent, inflation below 10 percent and to reduce the budget deficit to 5 percent of gross domestic product. The fiscal gap widened to 7.3 percent in the first nine months of the year from 1.9 percent a year earlier.
The former communications minister and member of Parliament said he would more than double electricity output to 5,000 megawatts and use oil and natural gas to expand manufacturing industries.
Tullow Oil Plc pumps crude at the Jubilee field, with production forecast to reach 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by the end of this year, from last year’s average of 78,200, according to the company. Tullow, Anadarko Petroleum Ltd. and Eni SpA are developing more wells, while AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Newmont Mining Corp. are expanding their gold mines as prices for the metal rose 8.8 percent this year.