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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora