Ghana’s main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, has won the west African country’s presidential election with an absolute majority over President John Mahama, Ghana’s electoral commission said on Friday.
In his first comment since the election, Mahama said on Twitter on Friday he would wait for official results, in a seemingly softer tone from Thursday when a senior member of his National Democratic Congress (NDC)camp said Mahama was ahead.
“Let’s allow EC (Electoral Commission) to carry out its constitutional mandate. We’ll make Ghana proud no matter outcome” of the election, he said in a tweet on his official account.
Ghana’s record of peaceful elections since 1992 and regular changes of government through the ballot box stands as a beacon in a region that has seen a series of civil wars and coups.
Mahama fought the election against the backdrop of an economy that has slowed since he took power in 2013, in part because of lower global prices for the West African country’s exports of gold, oil and cocoa.
Joy FM radio and Citi FM based their projections on results from Wednesday’s election given at the constituency level ahead of an official final tally that the electoral commissioner said would likely be announced by Saturday.
Joy FM’s website showed Akufo-Addo winning with 53 percent of the vote and Mahama on 45.2 percent, based on a count of 218 constituencies out of 275 in total. Citi FM gave Akufo-Addo 54.8 percent based on 190 constituencies.
If confirmed, it would be a bigger victory than recent presidential elections. Akufo-Addo said on Thursday he was “quietly confident” of victory and his party had also picked up 49 seats in parliament to give it a majority. [ID:nL5N1E31LP]
The government is mid-way through an International Monetary Fund programme to restore fiscal stability in the face of an increased budget deficit, elevated inflation and a currency that has halved in value since 2014.
Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the government mismanaged national finances and has promoted its own plans for job creation in line with its free market ideology.
The currency was not impacted by the early election calls on Friday, but continued its downward trend against the dollar, a trader said, adding that the cedi stood at around 4.3 to the U.S. dollar.
Akufo-Addo, 72, served as attorney general and then as foreign minister in the New Patriotic Party government, which held power for eight years starting in 2001.
The electoral commission is set to begin releasing results on Friday and complete the process by Saturday.