Over 15 million Ghanaians, today, Wednesday, went to about 29,000 polling stations to elect a president and 275 parliamentarians who will rule the country in the next four years.
Reports reaching us said that the turnout of voters was impressive and that voting was conducted in most polling units in orderly and peaceful manner. The voting would have been completed at about 5.00pm local time and counting of votes commenced immediately.
Results are expected within 72 hours after voting ended.
The incumbent President, John Mahama is running for a second four-year term with six other candidates. His fiercest rival is Nana Akufo-Addo, the leader of the largest opposition, New Patriotic Party.
Mahama remains popular in the nation of 26 million people, which was the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence in colonial Africa, in 1957.
The 58-year-old Mahama made major progress in improving Ghana’s infrastructure by building schools, health facilities and roads.
However, 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. They also held him responsible for sharp rise in electricity, water and petrol prices.
Akufo-Addo, 72, promises to use Ghana’s new-found oil to create jobs and push industrialization in all economic sectors, including agriculture.
If no presidential candidate gains 51 per cent or more of the vote, the election will go into a second round. [myad]