By Morkporkpor Anku (Accra) – Ghana’s Electoral Commission has declared the incumbent leader John Dramani Mahama as the new president in the West African state in the Friday December 7 elections.
Mahama, who replaced the late president John Atta Mills after his death in July, pulled 5,574,761 votes representing 50.70 percent of the ballots cast as against his closest contender Nana Akufo-Addo who to 5,248,898 votes representing 47.74 per cent.
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan Chairman of Ghana’s Electoral Commission based on the results, declare President Dramani Mahama president elect at a news conference in the capital Accra.
This year’s election was marked with delays after hundreds of newly-introduced electronic fingerprint machines used to identify voters failed on Friday and forced some polling stations to reopen on Saturday to clear the backlog.
Security forces used teargas to disperse hundreds of supporters of the Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party protesting in front of the electoral commission building shortly before the results were declared.
Supporters of Mahama drove through the streets of the sprawling seaside capital playing loud music, shouting, and honking their horns after the results.
In a brief speech at his residence following the results, president Mahama said his win was a “victory for all Ghanaians”, and urged the leaders of rival parties to “respect the voice of the people”.
Meanwhile the country’s main opposition party new patriotic Party on Tuesday said it would challenge in court the result of last week’s election, which gave victory to incumbent president John Dramani Mahama with 50.70 percent of the votes, Reuters report.
The NPP leader Nana Akufo-Addo, who lost to Mahama in the poll, said electoral workers had tampered with the result of the December 7 vote – which was widely seen as a test for democracy in one of Africa’s most stable nations.
“We are taking our matter to the place where the constitution says we should take our matter,” Akufo-Addo told thousands of supporters in the same field in the capital Accra where Mahama held his victory party the previous day.
“We are going to put ourselves in the hands of the judges of the Supreme Court and they will decide the fate of this election.”
The United States and regional leaders have issued statements congratulating Mahama on his victory and praising the conduct of the election, which observers said was free and fair despite some logistical glitches.
President Mahama, who took over from former leader John Atta Mills after his death in July, said he was not worried by the NPP’s legal challenge and was confident supporters of the rival political camps would remain calm.
“Ghana’s democracy is solid, and there are constitutional institutions to deal with situations like this,” he told Reuters in an interview at his residence in Accra.
Mahama, during his victory speech on Monday, urged his defeated rivals to drop any grievances and join him “as partners” in making Ghana better.