Ghanaians Vote In Tight Presidential Race

People wait to vote at a polling station in the stronghold of the opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, a former foreign minister, in Kibi, Ghana December 7, 2016. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Ghanaians will decide on Wednesday who will be their next president for another four years as President John Mahama seeks another term.

Ghana has endured a three-year economic downturn that led to heavy job losses and price hikes, NAN reports. And analysts anticipate a close contest.

Mahama is competing with six other candidates for the presidency. But his fiercest rival is Nana Akufo-Addo, the leader of the largest opposition, New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Report says the incumbent president remains popular in the nation of 26 million people, which was the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence in colonial Africa, in 1957.

Mahama’s positives

The 58-year-old made major progress in improving the country’s infrastructure by building schools, health facilities, and roads.

But many voters held Mahama and the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) responsible for a debilitating three-year energy crisis that led to a 10 per cent drop in economic growth between 2011 and 2015.

Mahama is also held responsible for sharp rise in electricity, water and petrol prices.

His main rival

On the other hand, Akufo-Addo, 72, has promised to use Ghana’s new-found oil to create jobs. He also promised improved industrialisation in all economic sectors, including agriculture.

Over 15 million Ghanaians are eligible to cast their vote at the 29,000 polling stations until 1700 GMT.

Parliamentary election

They will also elect 275 parliamentarians for the next four years.

If no presidential candidate gains 51 per cent or more of the vote, the election will go into a second round.

Results are expected within 72 hours after voting.

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