Ruling party edges ahead as Ghana election results trickle in

December 8th, 2008 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi/Accra, Dec 8 (DPA) Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) edged ahead in presidential elections Monday morning as results from across the West African nation trickled in.Early results from 18 constituencies showed that Nana Akufo-Addo had around 53 percent of the vote, compared to 44 percent for his main opponent, John Evans Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The other six candidates were, as expected, out of the race.

However, only a small percentage of the votes have been counted. Full results were expected within the next 60 hours.

Most analysts say the race to replace John Kufuor, who must step down in January after serving two terms, is too close to call and will go to a run-off Dec 28.

Turnout was high in Sunday’s simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections, which passed off peacefully despite warning that there may be a repeat of the violent scenes that followed elections in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria this year.

Kufuor has revived the Ghanaian economy by bringing pro-market reforms and political stability. Economic growth has been strong, and the NPP is saying it should be given the chance to continue its work.

However, despite the growth and the fact that Ghana is the second largest cocoa grower in the world and Africa’s second biggest producer of gold, there is still widespread poverty among ordinary Ghanians.

Both main parties are promising good governance when it comes to revenue from newly-discovered oil, due to come onstream in late 2010.

Ghana’s National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) expects 120,000 barrels per day initially, with that figure rising to 250,000 barrels a day within two years.

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