Ghana Opposition Sees Battle to ‘Save Nation’ in Election

  • Opposition leader says appalled by ‘deprivation and poverty’
  • West African nation will hold presidential elections on Dec. 7

Ghana’s main opposition party declared this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections a “battle to save Ghana,” as it makes a third attempt in eight years to wrest power from the ruling party.

“I am appalled by the deprivation and poverty in my country,” Nana Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party, told supporters in Accra, capital of the West African nation, at an event to unveil the party’s platform for the Dec. 7 vote.

“President John Dramani Mahama has run Ghana’s economy into the ground,” he said. “This year’s elections is a battle to save Ghana.”

Lower prices for gold, cocoa and oil -- the main exports of West Africa’s largest economy after Nigeria -- have caused debt to balloon and Ghana’s currency to decline against the dollar. Regular power cuts have also weighed on output. 

The economy will likely expand 3.3 percent this year, the slowest pace since 1990, according to International Monetary Fund data, after growing 3.9 percent in 2015. The country’s growth forecast for 2017 is 7.4 percent and 8.4 percent for the next year, the Washington-based lender said last week.

Akufo-Addo is leading the New Patriotic Party into an election for the third time after losing in 2008 and 2012 to the ruling National Democratic Congress. The main opposition leader lost a challenge to the results four years ago when the Supreme Court upheld Mahama’s election victory.

“The NPP will focus its campaign on creating a new and vibrant economy that makes businesses thrive, creates jobs and gives hope to the Ghanaian youth,” said Akufo-Addo.

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