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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora