With Ghanaians set to vote in Sunday’s crucial presidential run-off that features Nana Akufo-Addo, candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Professor John Evans Atta Mills, former vice president and candidate of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), newspapers during the week featured stories on the campaigns that wound down on Friday evening.
A tight race is expected as only 1.21 per cent separated the two candidates in the first round on 7 December, with Nana AKufo-Addo slightly in the lead.
The NDC, however, has more seats in parliament, winning 114 seats in the 230-member house with two seats to be declared. The NPP has 107 seats with two other parties and independent candidates taking the rest.
“(Tomorrow’s) Sunday’s presidential run-off -Who wins? Nana Akufo-Addo or Atta Mills?” asks the Ghana’s biggest selling newspaper, the state-owned Daily Graphic. It carried the photographs of the two candidates with the presidential seat between them.
Earlier in the week, the Graphic quoted members of the clergy as pleading that “Sunday’s presidential run-off must be peaceful”.
It also quoted the National Security Chief, Dr Sam Amoo, as saying “No cause for alarm” as concerns have been expressed about security during and after the vote.
It said in another story on security that “the National Elections Security Task Force has warned against snatching electoral materials during the 28 December presidential run-off.
“The Task Force said it would employ force, which would be proportional, legitimate and reasonable to protect the integrity of the run-off and cautioned that there was no way incidents (at some polling stations) on 7 December would be allowed to happen again.”
The Director of Police Public Affairs, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kwesi Ofori, denied allegations that the Police Administration would be used to rig the elections in the Ashanti Region, the stronghold of the NPP.
No institutional arrangements to rig
He said the police did not have any institutional arrangements in place to rig elections in the country.
The Graphic also said there will be “No recounts at collation centres”. It wrote: “The EC has declared that no counting of ballots is allowed at collation centres. It has also denied that any such thing occurred during the 7 December polls.
“It stressed that it was only the collation and re-collation of ballots that took place at the collation centres and that recounting could only take place at the polling stations.”
The Ghanaian Times writing on last Tuesday’s voting by security personnel, journalists, essential service workers, said “Early voting was peaceful”.