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Ghana: Incumbent wins Presidential election


Ghana's electoral commission has declared incumbent President John Dramani Mahama the winner of the presidential election. The announcement came after accusations earlier in the day of electoral fraud.

The final results were announced late Sunday, giving NDC candidate President Mahama 50.7 percent of the vote. Opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, received 47.74 percent of the vote.

"Based on the results, I declare President John Dramani Mahama president elect," Ghana Electoral Commission head Kwadwo Afari-Gyan told reporters.

The remaining six presidential candidates each collected less than 0.60 percent of the vote, according to the Electoral Commission's Facebook page.

The announcement ended the narrow race that had been drawn out over the weekend when technical problems forced Ghanaian's to return to the polls in some areas.

The biometric machines, used for the first time in an election there, were supposed to read the fingerprints of the 13 million registered voters, but many failed to work, were missing or arrived too late at polling booths around the country.

Local media had already projected Mahama the winner over the weekend, prompting Akufo-Addo's supporters to allege electoral fraud on Sunday before the final results were announced. A top figure within Akufo-Addo's New Patriotic Party (NPP) appealed to the commission to delay the publication of the results until it investigated these claims.

"It will be unfortunate for the EC [Electoral Commission] to go ahead to announce the elections," NPP chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey told a news conference in the capital Accra. "We have significant problems that need to be looked atů These results cannot be forced down the throat of the people of Ghana."

The Electoral Commission did not address these claims when it declared the winner late Sunday.

Technical problems

A correspondent for the Reuters news agency reported a heavy police presence outside the Electoral Commission, keeping assembled opposition supporters at bay.

Afuko-Addo lost to Mahama by a small margin in Ghana's last presidential poll in 2008, prompting public protests from his supporters in the election's immediate aftermath.

Ghana is often touted as a model democracy in Africa. The country boasts 30 years of relative stability and economic growth in one of the more politically unstable regions of the world.

Originally, the Electoral Commission had hoped to publish complete official results on Sunday after voting began on Friday.

kms, msh/ccp (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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