The now-closed presidential elections in the small West African nation is said to be favoring the emergence of former foreign minister, Nana Akufo-Addo as President. YEN Ghana had earlier reported that the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had garnered 18,706 votes, representing 52.11 percent of total votes cast in the tight election, closely followed by the incumbent John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress with 16,283 votes representing 45.3 percent. The remaining -2 percent is held by Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressives People Party (PPP) and Nana Konadu Rawlings who garnered 1.47 percent and 0.29 percent of the cast votes respectively. These figures were based on results from 102 stations.
However, the trend of the elections can be gleaned from radio reports of note in the Ghanaian media landscape. Some of them, for instance, Joy FM, have projected Akufo-Addo as the winner of the controversial election based on results from 206 polling centers, out of a total of 275. Joy FM’s projection gives Akufo-Addo a clear lead of 52.17 percent closely followed by Mahama at 45.95 percent leaving a difference of 6.2 percent between both candidates.
Based on the figures given above, some have boldly declared Akufo-Addo the winner of the election. The National Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sammy Awuku, claimed the victory for his party’s candidate based on their internal analysis which showed clearly that Akufo-Addo had garnered five, 441, and 462 votes compared to President Mahama’s 4,497,477 votes. To this, the President has called for all to allow the Electoral Commission to carry out its constitutional mandate, according to Citi FM.
Meanwhile, Aljazeera reports that Nana Akufo-Addo who is widely believed to be enjoying the lead, said he was “quietly confident” that he had beaten the incumbent John Mahama. Akufo-Addo expressed this “quiet” confidence in a loud and noisy address to hundreds of his supporters in Accra, the nation’s capital on Thursday based on the fact that his party had also garnered the majority of seats in the nation’s parliament.
“We in the NPP are quietly confident that we have won a famous and historic victory”
However, the ruling party has not wasted time in debunking such claims. Officials of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have roundly debunked the claim with counter-claims that they are also confident the party was on track for re-election. Speaking at a news conference, a senior NDC official claimed that
The NPP has done everything to try to bastardise the 2016 general election. We are doing our analysis and President Mahama is leading Akufo-Addo
The election reported a lower voter turnout of 49% when compared to the last elections where over 79.43 percent of eligible voters turned out to vote. Citi FM reported the chairperson of the Ghanaian Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei expressing her disappointment at the low turn-out. She was reported as saying
“We are pretty disappointed at the turnout so far. Based on the collated results from the 210 constituencies, the provisional turnout for the election is at about 49 percent. This is way below our history in elections so far and it is quite disappointing.”
President Mahama’s political dispensation has been mired in serious economic crises occasioned by the fall in global oil prices which reduced government’s earning capacity and consequently, its capacity to provide political goods to the Ghanaian electorate. This necessitated the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) approval of an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of $918 million in 2015. While the IMF praised the Mahama administration for a successful implementation in the first year, consumer spending has been severely affected by the high cost of goods and services, even those essential for living.
While there is a total of seven candidates running for the post, the duo of Akufo-Addo and Mahama are ahead of the other candidates. If the election does not produce a clear winner, there will be a run-off between the two candidates with the highest number of votes. However, the possibility of that is uncertain seeing that the data so far point to an opposition victory.
[Featured Image by Pius Utomi Ekpei/Getty Images]