9, 2016 - After
hours of speculation, nervous commentaries and mind
games, it is now official. Nana Akufo-Addo has been
elected Ghana's next president at the third time of
asking. Incumbent President Mahama concedes and wishes
his successor well.
After hours of nail-biting wait, all is
now made clear by the Electoral Commission of Ghana as
the official results of the Presidential polls show that
the man who was running for the top political post in
the country for the third time in a row, Nana Akufo-Addo
is now the President-elect of Ghana beating into second
place incumbent President John Mahama who was gunning
for a second term in office.
The BBC reported -
"President John Mahama called Mr
Akufo-Addo to admit defeat, a spokesman for his party
said, as the Electoral Commission announced the result.
Mr Akufo-Addo has promised free high-school education
and more factories but critics have questioned the
viability of his ambitions.
Celebrations have broken out in the
capital, Accra. Ghana has been a multi-party democracy
since the end of military rule in 1992 and this result
is seen as reinforcing its reputation for the peaceful
transfer of power between administrations.
Mr Akufo-Addo, from the New Patriotic
Party, won the election on his third attempt to reach
the presidency, after a campaign dominated by the
country's faltering economy.
"I make this solemn pledge to you
tonight: I will not let you down," he told a jubilant
crowd in front of his residence. "I will do all in my
power to live up to your hopes and expectations."
Ghana's Electoral Commission (EC)
declared Mr Akufo-Addo the winner, with 53.85% of the
votes, while Mr Mahama took 44.40%. Turnout was at
68.62%. The president-elect will be sworn in on January
7 after a one-month transition period.
Mr Akufo-Addo had lost previous
elections in 2008 and 2012 but the way he handled those
losses resonated with many people. He is credited with
preventing possible violence in 2012 by not rejecting
the outcome - a loss by 300,000 votes to current
President John Mahama - and calling for mass protests.
Instead, he sought legal redress and accepted defeat
after the Supreme Court upheld the result. And there is
bit of a profile
too on the new man to run the affairs of a country with
a number of problems relating to the economy.
The news outlet
Al Jazeera reported
"Ghana's main opposition leader Nana
Akufo-Addo won the country's national election,
defeating President John Mahama, electoral commissioner
Charlotte Osei said.
Crowds of jubilant supporters gathered outside the house
of the 72-year-old New Patriotic Party (NPP) leader, who
had already claimed victory on Thursday, a day after the
voting took place.
Akufo-Addo defeated President Mahama
by 53.8 percent to 44.4 percent, Osei said.
"It is my duty and my privilege to
declare Nana Akufo-Addo as the president elect of
Ghana," she told a news conference in the capital,
Accra, on Friday.
Prior to Osei's announcement,
Akufo-Addo said on Twitter that Mahama called him
"congratulating me on winning the 2016 presidential
election". "I make this solemn pledge to you tonight: I
will not let you down. I will do all in my power to live
up to your hopes and expectations," Akufo-Addo told
supporters in front of his residence.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Akufo-Addo
explained what he believed to be the hopes and
expectations of Ghanaians: "The expectations they have
of me, that I'm gonna bring them a new government, a new
style; a government of honesty, a government that is
concerned about the welfare of our people - that basic
commitment is the one I am determined to fulfill."
Ghanaweb news source
"Outgoing president John Mahama has
conceded defeat in grace to president-elect Nana
Akufo-Addo promising to offer his support and experience
to the incoming president.
In a solemn speech of concession, two
hours after a new president was announced by the
Electoral Commission chair, the president said:
"I have done my bit and made my
contribution to the development of my country."
Flanked by his vice Kwesi Amissah
Arthur, and party chairman Kofi Portuphy, the president
assuaged the pain of his followers who had gone into the
election well oiled for victory but came out vanquished.
"One person can only emerge winner and
be elected president," he said, adding, "every election
is an opportunity for people to have a say in who will
lead them." "The true winner is Ghana," he said in a
The president's desire for a personal
second term, and a third term for the party, did not see
the light of day after Ghanaians overwhelmingly voted
for the NPP flagbearer. In the end, he put in a call to
congratulate his biggest adversary after the figures
showed he was trailing. He said although there were
irregularities he decided not to pursue the matter and
let unity prevail. He did that even before the Chairman
of the Electoral Commission declared Nana Akufo-Addo as
the president of Ghana.
After the declaration and the
acceptance speech by the president-elect, president
Mahama said he would have cherished to do more but still
respects the will of the people Ghana. "This is not the
outcome we waited for," he said but noted "I live it to
history to be the judge of my time."
The outgoing president said he is
ready to assist the incoming president through the
transition period and offer any help if called upon.
President John Mahama thanked members of his campaign
team and all Ghanaians for the support given him
throughout the period of his tenure.
The electoral process in Ghana once
more highlights what good governance is all about.
The head of the Electoral Commission
Charlotte Osei was
appointed by President Mahama but that did not prevent
her from declaring the main opposition candidate as
winner and in effect telling the nation and the world
that the man who appointed her to the post had lost his
job as President.
Before the polls, she had issued
statements in which her office disqualified a number of
Presidential candidates including the only woman
candidate in the field Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings,
former First Lady of the Republic.
She and others appealed to the courts
which duly overturned those decisions thereby paving the
way for seven Presidential candidates to run.
The Voice of America
had this report on the issue -
"Ghana's electoral commission has
qualified seven presidential candidates for the national
election on December 7. The successful candidates — six
representing political parties and one independent —
took part in a drawing late Wednesday in the capital,
Accra, to determine their positions on the ballot.
They will be listed by party
affiliation in this order on voters' ballots: Convention
People's Party (CPP), National Democratic Party (NDP),
National Democratic Congress (NDC), Progressive People's
Party (PPP), New Patriotic Party (NPP), People's
National Convention (PNC) and independent (non-party)
candidate Jacob Osei Yeboah.
The electoral commission earlier had
disqualified several candidates for failing to comply
with all registration requirements for the election, but
those rulings were challenged in court by the PPP and
NDP, among others.
A court ruling ordered the commission
to allow disqualified candidates time to correct errors
in their nomination documents. The process of error
correction is now complete, according to electoral
commission spokesman Eric Dzakpasu, and it is unlikely
any further candidacies will be approved.
“Out of the 10 candidates who
resubmitted their nomination papers for reconsideration,
three have successfully gone through the process,
bringing the total number of candidates for the
presidential election to seven.
So, just this evening balloting was
done, and all the seven candidates now have their
positions on the ballot paper for the election,"
Dzakpasu said. "... I think the door is now shut ...
[for] other candidates." Despite some complaints about
alleged bias by the electoral commission, Dzakpasu said,
"everything has been on course."
Lessons for Christiana Thorpe and a
certain bewigged Justice Showers in having two ruling
party APC candidates in Parliament representing
Constituencies 005 and 015 instead of ordering a bye
election that those candidates would never had stood a
chance. This was an illegal move endorsed by the
judiciary, the first in Sierra Leone's annals of