News / Africa

Ghana Votes in Presidential, Parliamentary Poll

A man votes at a polling station in Kibi, in eastern Ghana and stronghold of opposition presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo on Dec. 7, 2012.
A man votes at a polling station in Kibi, in eastern Ghana and stronghold of opposition presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo on Dec. 7, 2012.
Anne Look
Vote counting is underway, in some cases by flashlight, in Ghana's presidential and parliamentary elections. Several polling stations in the capital extended their hours Friday following logistical problems with voter materials and the biometric voter registration system. 
 
Polls were scheduled to close at 5 p.m. local time in Ghana.  However, observers say delays in delivering voting materials and malfunctioning biometric voter verification machines meant that long lines of voters were still waiting at several polling stations around the capital.

A VOA reporter at one such polling station talked to voters who had been waiting since 8:30 a.m.

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
This is the first time Ghana has used biometric voter registration.

The electoral commission issued a statement calling on voters to be patient and assuring them that voters in line by 5 p.m. local time would be able to cast their ballots.

Ghanaians began lining up outside polling stations as early as 3 a.m. on Friday in the capital, Accra, to vote for a president and members of parliament.
 
Hundreds were in line at many polling stations by 7 a.m., when voting was officially set to begin.
 
  • 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.

"It's my right to vote so that is why I'm here, to select my president, the person who will come and control the country and lead the country more forward," stated voter Razak Imoro. "It's all about development."
 
The current president, John Dramani Mahama, faces seven challengers in a bid to win his first outright term.  Mahama became president in July after the death of President John Atta Mills.
 
Analysts say Mahama and lead opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, and their parties, are running neck-and-neck.
 
Key issues in this election are corruption, education and how best to manage the oil and resource wealth of one of world's fastest growing economies.
 
Voters told VOA it all comes down to who they think can best use this wealth to improve their daily lives.
 
Voter and father of three Jonathan Akrong said the debate over whether to make senior high school, or SHS, free is a deciding factor for him.  "I'll be voting based on issues of the candidates, what they've brought out and, I mean, somebody who has given out very intelligent issues as far as the governing of the nation is concerned," he said. "Ghana needs quality, progressive education and not a free SHS for now. We don't have the infrastructure base."
 
Ghana is one of Africa's most stable democracies.  This is the sixth time the country is voting since moving to multi-party democracy in 1992.  Previous elections were peaceful and were judged to have been free and fair.
 
Ghana's law stipulates that results must be announced within 72 hours.  However, an electoral commission official told VOA they expect to release results sooner.
 
If no presidential candidate wins a clear majority, a run-off election is planned for December  28th.


Laura Burke contributed to this report from Accra.

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 VOA EXCLUSIVE: 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.
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.
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