Ghana’s presidential elections head for a run-off

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Following a tense three day wait for Ghana’s presidential election results, Electoral officials have indicated that the West African country is likely to hold a run-off after the two main presidential hopefuls were unable to garner the 50% needed to sustain a first round win.

Although, Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, has maintained a 2 percentage point lead since the results started trickling in, he has been unable to widen the gap between himself and John Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to Reuters, Victor Smith, an NDC official at the Electoral Commission was quoted as saying that the elections are “headed for a run-off”. The official also indicated that they had been called earlier “by the electoral commissioner who told us that results so far collected indicated that there may not be a clear winner in this first round”.

Meanwhile, the office of the NPP General-Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow, has confirmed the party’s readiness for a run-off. The party has maintained its lead throughout the counting process and is expected to benefit more from a total of nearly 3 per cent of the votes that were bagged by the other six parties facing elimination.

The official results will be announced by the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan (at 14 hours GMT Wednesday), who is expected to confirm a date for a run-off between Akufo-Addo and his closest rival, Prof. Atta Mills. The country’s constitution calls for a run-off three weeks after the general elections.

The run-off is likely to be held on Decemeber 28.

Results from the parliamentary elections have also been very close with most of the seats going to the NDC and NPP. 4 of the 220 parliamentary seats have so far gone to independent candidates while the PNC and CPP parties have only managed to take three seats.

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