Ghana: President John Mahama Will Accept Election Outcome

Dan Joseph
Displayed with permission from Voice of America

Ghanaian President John Mahama says he will accept the outcome of Wednesday’s election, as the country waits for the electoral commission to declare a winner.

News organizations in Ghana say Mahama’s main challenger, Nana Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party, or NPP, is all but assured of victory with about 53 percent of the vote.

A spokesman of the electoral commission told VOA’s Peter Clottey on Friday, however, that the commission is still waiting for official results from 65 of Ghana’s 275 constituencies.

« These are constituencies with large voter numbers and is likely to have a large impact on the results, » said Eric Dzakpasu. « And there are issues related to some of the results from some of the constituency centers, so the commission is taking stock of all the pink sheets [collated vote totals] from those areas. »

Dzakpasu said he believes the commission will finish its work by early Saturday.

Calls have mounted on social media for the commission to speed up the vote count. Speaking to supporters Friday at his residence in the capital, Accra, Mahama appealed for calm, in addition to saying that he will accept the final results.

Akufo-Addo and the police have also asked the public to remain patient while the electoral commission does its work.

Police stand guard at the entrance of the Ghana electoral commission office in Accra, Ghana, Dec. 9, 2016.Police stand guard at the entrance of the Ghana electoral commission office in Accra, Ghana, Dec. 9, 2016.

President Mahama is seeking a second term as leader of the West African country, a major exporter of oil, gold and cocoa.

Akufo-Addo, a former foreign minister, has seized on Ghana’s current economic woes as a campaign theme, accusing Mahama and the National Democratic Congress, or NDC, of incompetence.

Ghana Incumbent President, John Dramani Mahama candidate of the National Democratic Congress gestures to his supporters during a presidential election rally at Accra Sports Stadium in Accra, Ghana, Dec. 5, 2016.Ghana Incumbent President, John Dramani Mahama candidate of the National Democratic Congress gestures to his supporters during a presidential election rally at Accra Sports Stadium in Accra, Ghana, Dec. 5, 2016.

Mahama’s term has been overshadowed by the plunge in global oil prices, which reduced government revenues and contributed to soaring inflation. The government accepted a $918 million bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Ghana is considered one of the most stable democracies in Africa, having witnessed several peaceful transfers of power since 1992.

Peter Clottey and Francisca Kakra Forson contributed reporting from Accra

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