Ghanaians Head To Polls To Elect President, House Of Representatives
Ghanaians head to the polls for general elections today, a close race between the current head of state Nana Akufo-Addo and a former president John Mahama who have faced off twice in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
Though there are 12 candidates vying for the presidency, President Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party is likely to see the greatest challenge from leading opposition candidate John Dramani Mahama, who won the 2012 election, but lost in 2016 to Akufo-Addo. If either of the two heavyweights win, they’ll serve a second and final term under current constitutional limits.
“Whether you’re from the northern, southern, eastern, western or central part of Ghana, the peace we have and we are enjoying now still continues with you! As we all go to the polls to vote today” Elorm Beenie, A Ghanaian voter told the Chronicle.
He believes that Ghanaians should go out and vote and decide who stirs the affairs of this country.
“No single political party flag is more important than the Ghana flag. So put Ghana first before any politician or political party. Let’s continue to increase the peace as we decide the fate of our leaders for the next 4 years.” Beenie added.
Ghana has held peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections for nearly two decades. This will be the eighth consecutive election since the return to multi-party democracy in 1992.
The vote is also seen as a test of democracy for the West African nation whose regional neighbors Guinea and Ivory Coast saw leaders hold onto power for third terms after constitutional changes.
Both President Akufo-Addo and former President Mahama have campaigned on anti-corruption platforms, while trading accusations against each other during election campaigns.
Shortly after casting his vote John Mahama says “Today, we can restore the soul of our nation. We can cure ourselves from the grotesque levels of corruption and insufferable inequality – and put Ghana on the path of becoming a truly advanced nation.”
Akufo-Addo said “all Ghanaians are agreed that we have to work together to ensure that the elections will be transparent, free, fair, safe and credible.”
The Electoral Commission of Ghana tweeted “We are so far experiencing a peaceful election process across the country. We urge the public to continue being agents of peace while exercising their civic responsibility.”
Kojo Mensah, a first-time voter told the Chronicle “I am delighted to be casting my vote for the first time, but at the same time, l have this lingering fear that all may not be well,” he said, without detailing what his fears are. “That will be sad for the country that has been hailed all over the world as the country with the best democratic credentials.”
The electoral commission will announce results within 72 hours after the election.
Ghana has about 17 million people registered to vote at more than 33,000 polling stations for the president and 275 legislative seats to grab.