News / Africa

Ghana Votes for President, New Parliament

Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo cheer during his final campaign rally ahead of Friday's presidential election, in Accra, December 5, 2012.
Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo cheer during his final campaign rally ahead of Friday's presidential election, in Accra, December 5, 2012.
Ghanaians head to the polls to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on Friday, and analysts say the top two presidential candidates are virtually tied.  Two major parties ended official campaigning with large rallies Wednesday in Accra.

Ghana’s capital was packed with political supporters in trucks and floats Wednesday as campaigning wrapped up.

Both major parties held massive final rallies in the nation's capital, with thousands singing, dancing and cheering dressed in their party’s colors.

Ghanian President John Dramani Mahama, center left, speaks to supporters at his final campaign rally, in Accra, December 5, 2012.Ghanian President John Dramani Mahama, center left, speaks to supporters at his final campaign rally, in Accra, December 5, 2012.
x
Ghanian President John Dramani Mahama, center left, speaks to supporters at his final campaign rally, in Accra, December 5, 2012.
Ghanian President John Dramani Mahama, center left, speaks to supporters at his final campaign rally, in Accra, December 5, 2012.
​Current President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party poked at his rival, opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, without mentioning his name.

“Ghana needs a president who is a peacemaker," he said. "Ghana needs a president who is humble and modest.  Ghana needs a president who is not arrogant.  Ghana needs a president who eschews violence and above all, Ghana needs a president who is a unifier."

Starting with the first multiparty democratic elections in 1992, Ghana has held a total of five peaceful polls.

Eight candidates are on this year's presidential ballot, but recent voter surveys say the race will come down to the two top candidates.

Ghana President John Atta Mills attending a symposium at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, May 18, 2012.Ghana President John Atta Mills attending a symposium at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, May 18, 2012.
x
Ghana President John Atta Mills attending a symposium at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, May 18, 2012.
Ghana President John Atta Mills attending a symposium at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, May 18, 2012.
Mahama, who took over as president when John Atta Mills died in July, said the government has done everything within its power to make this a peaceful election.

"We have given the electoral commission all the money it requested for this election," he said. "We have equipped the security forces with vehicles, with communications equipment, to be able to police this election.  So there is no reason why we are not going to have a peaceful election, or a successful election, unless there are some evil forces that are planning to unleash evil on this country.”

Soon after Mahama finished speaking, his rival stepped onto the stage in downtown Accra.

Opposition presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, looks on from the stage during his final campaign rally in Accra, December 5, 2012.Opposition presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, looks on from the stage during his final campaign rally in Accra, December 5, 2012.
x
Opposition presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, looks on from the stage during his final campaign rally in Accra, December 5, 2012.
Opposition presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, looks on from the stage during his final campaign rally in Accra, December 5, 2012.
The leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Akufo-Addo has promised to make senior high school free,  and said he will modernize Ghana's economy, one of the fastest growing on the continent.

"We have told the Ghanaian people that the NPP is determined to transform the economy of our country, make it a modern economy, that will bring jobs to our young men and women and make them full participating citizens in the new economy we are going to build," he said.

Akufo-Addo accused the ruling NDC of corruption and incompetence.

"We are going to show them a red card on Friday.  We are going to get rid of this corrupt, non-performing, vindictive government, the worst government of the fourth republic of our country," he said.

However, supporters of the NDC said they Mahama as a person and think he will maintain peace and stability.  The center-left NDC party is favored by working class voters.

Nelson Glover thinks the NDC is going to help ordinary Ghanaians, especially the youth.

"NDC understand our issues.  They understand the way we live and they don’t just come up with any plan without thinking.  And they think about the youth, long-term planning.  Something like youth in agriculture [...].  It’s a good idea to me because I love farming, so if I go to my home town then I can start it over there.  And they are giving us tools.  Let’s say you are a carpenter, they will provide you with tools.  So we think that is a laudable idea from the government," said Glover.

NPP supporters, however, say Ghana has not developed fast enough under the NDC and they accuse the ruling party of corruption.  Kojo Mabwa said he will vote for Akufo-Addo.

"The man have a big vision for Ghana.  He said he can do free education.  They say we can’t do, but we can do!  There is money… The NDC they have nothing for us, they have nothing.  They lost.  They are misusing our money," he said.

If no candidate wins an absolute majority in Friday's vote, a run-off will be held on December 28.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Akwasi from: Milan
December 06, 2012 12:06 PM
It's such a great time to be a Ghanaian

by: Shiffman Osei from: Kumasi
December 06, 2012 12:01 PM
GHANAIANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF BAD GOVERNANCE, CORRUPTION AND MEDIOCRITY UNDER THIS PRESENT NDC GOVERNMENT, SO WE SHALL VOTE AND CHANGE PRESIDENT JOHN MAHAMA FOR A BETTER LEADER. GHANA DESERVES BETTER AND I BELIEVE THAT GHANA WOULD CHOOSE A LEADER LIKE THE INCORRUPTIBLE AND VERY COMPETENT NANA AKUFFO-ADDO AND THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY TO MOVE GHANA FORWARD.
In Response

by: angelina from: kumasi
December 08, 2012 12:31 PM
LOOK OSEI YOU THE KUMASI WHAT EVER THE NDC DOSE DO NOT FIT INTO THAT EYES OF YOURS I WANT TO TELL YOU TODAY THAT 8 YEARS WE GAVE YOU WHAT PROPER FOUNDATION DID YOU BUILT WITH IT, TELL ME ONLY WHAT YOU KNOW IS THAT SPENDING THE MONEY AND OTHER THINGS WE WANT A GOOD GOVERNMENT NOT A GOVERNMENT WHO CAN GIVE FREE SHS WHEN WE SCHOOL UNDER TRESS, WE NEED A QUALITY EDUCATION THAT CAN TAKE US HIGH NOT SOMETHING FREE AND YOU KNOW THAT FREE THINGS ALWAYS HAVE BAD EXPIRING DATE......YOU KNOW BETTER OSEI

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs