News / Africa

Ghana Opposition Considers Vote Challenge

Supporters of presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) protest at the electoral commission in Accra December 9, 2012.Supporters of presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) protest at the electoral commission in Accra December 9, 2012.
x
Supporters of presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) protest at the electoral commission in Accra December 9, 2012.
Supporters of presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) protest at the electoral commission in Accra December 9, 2012.
VOA News
Ghana's main opposition challenger says he is not ready to concede defeat in the country's recent presidential election, but says his party has not decided whether it will challenge the results in court. 
 
Nana Akufo-Addo said Monday that his New Patriotic Party is compiling data from polling stations before deciding on how to precede.  He said a decision will likely be made in the coming days. 
 
Ghana's election commission says Akufo-Addo came in second with a little less than 48 percent of the vote, while incumbent president John Dramani Mahama won reelection with 50.7 percent of the vote.  The president needed to receive more than 50 percent of the ballots cast to avoid a run-off election. 
 
Ghana's capital, Accra, was calm on Monday.  Before the election results were announced Sunday, there were protests in Accra with hundreds of Akufo-Addo's supporters alleging that the election had been marred by fraud.
 
At one point, police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.
 
The United States has congratulated President Mahama and people of Ghana, calling the vote a "successful election."  A White House statement encouraged all parties to accept the result and to use the legal process to resolve any disputes. 
 
The head of the Economic Community of West African states praised the vote as peaceful and "encouraging" for Ghana.
 
ECOWAS commission president Kadre Desire Ouedraogo helped lead a team of ECOWAS election monitors.  He says that despite some problems with voting machines, he is pleased by the organization of the balloting.
 
"I have observed that there was strong enthusiasm from all parts around these elections.  We have visited many polling stations, and what we observed is very encouraging for democracy in Ghana.  I would recommend all the Ghanaian people and political leaders to continue this way so as to keep the peace and stability in this country," he said. 
 
In a brief victory speech, Mahama urged the leaders of rival parties to "respect the voice of the people."
 
Friday's election marked the first time Ghana used a new biometric registration system that scans fingerprints to identify registered voters.  Logistical and technical problems forced the polls to stay open into Saturday.
 
Despite the glitches, international observers say the vote appeared to be transparent and peaceful.  Ghanaian officials estimated voter turnout at close to 80 percent.
 
The West African country has earned a reputation for stability in an often turbulent region because of its recent record of peaceful, democratic transfers of power.
 
During the height of the protests, Ghanaian Police Commissioner Rose Bio-Atinga sought to reassure the public.
 
"We are everywhere, the police are everywhere, the military you can see them, they are everywhere, so we are up to the task. We do not close police stations, we did not stop night patrols, neither did we stop our day patrols, our men are everywhere so let me assure the general public that they are safe," she said. 
 
In addition to electing a president, voters chose 275 members of parliament, where President Mahama's National Democratic Congress has held a majority of seats. 
 
Ghana is also one of Africa's fastest growing economies and is beginning to benefit from commercial oil production that began in 2010.  
 
But many residents, complaining of high living costs and low wages, say they want more immediate benefits from the country's oil wealth, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid