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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A new President of Ghana emerges today


President John Mahama will slug it out with his main rival Nana Akufo-Addo as Ghanaians elect their president and lawmakers today. There are 15.8 million registered voters who will determine the direction the West African country will go. Apart from the president, 275 members of parliament will be elected across the country. The president will be elected using the two-round system. The lawmakers will be elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting.

Campaigns ended on Monday with Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as leading candidates. “We are really at a pivotal moment,” Akufo-Addo told reporters in his residence in the capital, Accra, adding: “It is important that these acts of violence perpetrated by elements of the ruling party are brought before the courts.”

Akufo-Addo, a 72-year-old lawyer, was minister of Justice from 2001 until 2003 when he became foreign minister. Both Akufo-Addo and Mahama are veteran politicians. Both stem from rich and influential families and studied or worked abroad, before climbing the political ladder.

At the weekend Mahama took to Twitter to call on Ghanaians to “ignore any form of provocation” this weekend, asking the Ghanaians to vote and “wait for the results peacefully.” Eligible voters must be Ghanaian citizens who are at least 18 years old, although those declared insane are disenfranchised. Parliamentary candidates must be Ghanaian citizens at least 21 years old, and either be resident in their constituency or have lived there for at least five of the ten years prior to the election

Over 16 people filed with the election commission to run for president. However, 13 presidential candidates were disqualified due to incorrect filling procedures. Ivor Greenstreet from the Convention People’s Party is the first physically-challenged candidate to contest the presidential election

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