Ghana’s main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, has won the West African country’s presidential election with an absolute majority over President John Mahama, two influential private radio stations said on Friday. Ghana is a beacon of democracy in a region that has seen a series of civil wars and coups with a record of peaceful elections in which power has alternated between two main parties, Reuters reports:
Joy FM’s website showed Akufo-Addo winning 53.27 percent of the vote and Mahama on 44.93 percent, based on its count of 233 constituencies out of 275 in total. Citi FM gave Akufo-Addo 54.97 percent based on 231 constituencies. If confirmed, the results would represent a bigger margin of victory than either party has achieved in recent elections and validate Akufo-Addo who lost by narrow margins in 2008 and 2012.
Mahama has said that he will respect the outcome of the tightly contested election. He also said in a tweet that the Electoral Commission should be allowed to carry out its mandate, the BBC adds.
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) today released its preliminary statement of findings and recommendations from its international election observation mission to Ghana.
The delegation’s preliminary statement provides recommendations to the government of Ghana, the Electoral Commission, political parties and candidates, civil society and the media, and security forces. The recommendations focus on promoting peace, expanding communications, and increasing women’s participation. These include:
- political leaders calling publicly on their supporters to respond peacefully to the EC’s announcement of election results and to seek redress through legal avenues should there be reason for electoral complaints or disputes;
- mitigating political polarization and rancorous conflict between parties by creating mechanisms for ongoing dialogue across party lines both in and outside of the normal legislative context;
- organizing a thorough post-election review of the conduct of the 2016 elections and adopting appropriate recommendations to attain and consolidate best practices;
- initiating electoral reform early in the next legislature;
- actively facilitating women’s participation by creating an enabling environment for meaningful political leadership opportunities for women; and
- disbanding vigilante groups and calling on youth to engage peacefully in political processes.
“The NDI delegation applauds the people of Ghana for the largely peaceful conduct of these elections, despite earlier apprehensions of political tensions and violence,” said Ambassador Johnnie Carson (left), leader of NDI’s observation mission. “Ghana has underscored its status as a beacon for democracy in the region and, though not without challenges, remains a laudable example for the entire continent.”
An International Republican Institute (IRI) delegation observed the participation of women on Election Day in partnership with Women in Law and Development in Africa-Ghana (WiLDAF-Ghana), as part of its Gender Assessment of Ghana’s 2016 electoral process. IRI’s teams deployed to seven of Ghana’s 10 regions: Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Northern, Western and Volta regions.
“The enthusiasm and level of participation by Ghanaian women in Wednesday’s Election Day activities demonstrated their commitment to the consolidation of democracy for their country,” said Elizabeth Lewis, IRI’s Deputy Regional Director for Africa. “While the official results have yet to be announced, we would like to underscore the commitment of the Ghanaian women who participated in Wednesday’s elections as candidates, voters, election officials, observers and security agents, in supporting the democratic process.”
NDI and IRI are core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy.