Ghanaians are awaiting the final
results of Sunday's presidential run-off election between the ruling New
Patriotic Party (NPP) and main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Although the electoral commission is expected to officially declare the winner
by tomorrow (Tuesday), some Ghanaians believe the final results would be known
by the end of today (Monday). Sunday's run-off election became necessary
because no party won the over 50 percent minimum votes required to win the
December seventh general election. Local and international observers described
Sunday's run-off election as peaceful, free, fair and transparent. Ben Ephson is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Dispatch
newspaper. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that Ghanaians have always risen to
the challenge in entrenching democracy in the country.
are expecting the electoral commission to officially declare the election
results tomorrow Tuesday. What is happening is that many media outlets, radio
stations television stations the way they tend to broadcast results, by let's
say 8.20 GMT hours this evening (Monday), many people would have an idea who is
Ghana's next president because it is just easy to see what somebody got in
December 7th and what you got in yesterday's (Sunday) run- off and
the net gain or loss," Ephson noted.
said since 1992 when the country first returned to constitutional rule
Ghanaians have shown maturity in holding elections.
wasn't surprised (at the peaceful nature of the election). What Kenya got into,
we got there 16 years ago in 1992, and Ghanaians did not resort to anything. It
was a bit more peaceful than I expected. You know, the first one was so close
and the difference in votes was about 102 thousand. And I think whoever wins
this one the gap is still going to be still narrow so I'm surprised because I
expected a bit more tension and it has gone on quite well," he said.
said both the NPP and the NDC have been trying to outmaneuver each other with
election was like a penalty shootout. There would have to be a winner. And what
they were all doing was like two boxers speaking at a press conference after
the weigh in and everybody is trying to flex muscles and trying to shadow box
each other. But the press has some kind of a bit wise so all allegations were
not broadcast, they usually cross check them before putting them on air. The
danger is that if you are interviewing somebody live, especially live on radio
or television, they blurt out the allegation before you can stop them. But
generally, I think that yesterday's run-off went very well," Ephson pointed
said the conduct of Sunday's run-off election was as transparent and would meet
both local and international standards.
sure it would be the same (free and fair). I mean even in the U.S, you have a
little hitches here and there and I think in the main it is the same standards
that Ghanaians have once again exhibited, fair free and transparent," he said.
said Ghanaians have been demonstrating that democracy can be peacefully
practiced and entrenched across the African continent.
think we have clearly exhibited that Ghanaians can do it. I mean in 2000
handover was a higher benchmark of the Ghanaians ability to play by the rules.
I mean here was somebody who has been in charge of eight years constitutional
rule and 11 years military and for 19 years the government has been in power
and they lose the run-off. I bet if it
had been any other country the then government would have tried various tricks,
but he (Former President Jerry John Rawlings) handed over. But I think whoever
wins the other person would accept defeat and concede," Ephson noted.
said any party that wins the presidential vote would have to be able to work
with the opposition parliamentarians in order to effectively govern.
thing is very clear. Parliament is going to be so tight that even if Nana Akufu-Addo
wins and he musters the support of the other MPS (members of parliament) he
would get 115, exactly half. The NDC, from our projection would also have 115
so whoever, becomes the next president would need to reach over to the other
side to get an extra vote to pass through legislation. So, parliament is going
to be very exciting, governance in general," he said.
some political analysts believe the run-off could go either way, both Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufu Addo of the ruling NPP and John Evans Atta-Mills of the main
opposition National Democratic Congress claimed they would win the vote.
said voting went smoothly in the capital Accra and across the country, despite
some minor hitches and disputes.
Meanwhile, some analysts say
a turnout higher than the 70 percent recorded in the first round could favor
the NPP's Akufo-Addo, while a lower turnout, traditional in second rounds could
boost the chances of the NDC's Mills.