Accra (dpa) – Ghana on Thursday appeared set to delay reporting the results of this week’s presidential and parliamentary elections after the electoral commission said it had to review the data amid concern about possible irregularities.
Wednesday’s election was framed by the contest between President John Dramani Mahama and opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, who ran a neck-to-neck race amid a three-year economic downturn.
The first results had been expected on Thursday, but the electoral commission said there appeared to have been more ballots cast than voters counted at some polling stations.
The commission pledged to verify results coming in from the constituency level against documents from polling stations, calling for “patience and calm from all voters as the EC ensures that the election results are in fact a true reflection of the will of the people.”
Earlier on Thursday, the commission tweeted that its website had been hacked, urging respect for “the integrity and independence of the EC.”
Mahama, 58, remains popular in the West African nation of 26 million people for having built infrastructure, but many Ghanaians also hold him responsible for a three-year energy crisis that led to a 10-per-cent drop in economic growth between 2011 and 2015.
Akufo-Addo, 72, has promised to use Ghana’s new-found oil to create jobs and push industrialization.
More than 15 million Ghanaians were eligible to cast their votes at 29,000 polling stations.
They also elected 275 parliamentarians from 1,158 candidates 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.