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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid