News / Africa

Ghana Extends Voting After Technical Glitches

Voters sit and wait three hours after biometric identification machines had broken down, halting voting at a polling station, in Accra, Ghana, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012.
Voters sit and wait three hours after biometric identification machines had broken down, halting voting at a polling station, in Accra, Ghana, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012.
VOA News
Voting in Ghana's presidential and parliamentary elections has been extended by another day at some polling stations after technical problems prevented many people from casting their ballots.

Ghana's electoral commission said voting would continue through Saturday at polling stations where there were logistical problems with voter materials or the country's new biometric registration system.

This is the first election that Ghana has used the new system in which machines at the voting stations scan fingerprints to identify registered voters.

Ghana's General Election

  • President elected to a 4-year term
  • If no candidate wins more than 50%, a run-off election is held
      December 28
  • 275 Parliament members are elected to 4-year terms
  • Members elected by simple majority in single-seat constituencies
  • 14 million Ghanaians are eligible to vote
Ballot counting got underway Friday at polling stations where voting was completed.

Analysts are forecasting a tight race between the two main parties. President John Dramani Mahama is facing seven challengers, including main opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.

Mahama of the National Democratic Congress took power in July after his predecessor, John Atta Mills, died of an illness. The 54-year-old has promised to create prosperity with large investments in infrastructure.

His challenger, Akufo-Addo, has campaigned on a promise to provide free senior high school education. The 68-year-old member of the New Patriotic Party narrowly lost to the late President Mills in 2008.

  • Supporters of President John Dramani Mahama celebrate in the streets after he was declared the winner of Ghana's presidential election, Accra, Ghana, December 9, 2012.
  • Supporters of President John Dramani Mahama celebrate in the streets after he was declared the winner of Ghana's presidential election, Accra, Ghana, December 9, 2012.
  • A woman casts her vote for the presidential election at a polling station in Accra, Ghana, December 7, 2012.
  • A man registers to vote at a polling station in Kibi, eastern Ghana, December 7, 2012.
  • People wait to vote at a polling station in Kibi, eastern Ghana, December 7, 2012.
  • Ghanaian presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo (L) of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) waves during his last rally at Sutherland Addy Children's Park in Accra, Ghana, December 5, 2012.
  • John Dramani Mahama (R), Ghana's interim president and National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate, waves during his last electoral rally, Accra, Ghana, December 5, 2012.

Ghana's 14 million registered voters also cast ballots for 275 members of parliament, where the NDC currently holds the majority.

Ahead of the vote, Kwadwo Sarfo-Kantanka, the deputy chairman of Ghana's Independent Electoral Commission, told VOA he expects the results will be out quickly.

"With the sort of equipment and system that we have in place, we are of the view that within 48 hours the results would be out," he said. "But definitely, within 72 hours."

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. Following close elections in 2008, U.S. President Barack Obama called Ghana a "model of democracy in Africa."

Ghana, a nation of about 25 million people, is also one of Africa's fastest growing economies and is beginning to benefit from commercial oil production that began in 2010.  The World Bank expects eight percent growth for 2012 and 2013.

But many residents, complaining of high living costs and low wages, say they now want more immediate benefits from the country's oil wealth, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid