Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo won re-election with 51.59 percent of the vote, results from the election commission showed on Wednesday, as deadly violence gripped the West African country.
The results follow a contentious poll that both candidates had said they were leading based on their camps’ tallies. Five people were killed in election violence since Monday, police said, marring what observers said was a well-organised vote.
The Ghanaian Police Service said it recorded more than 60 incidents at Monday’s vote, in which President Nana Akufo-Addo ran for re-election against his main rival, former president John Mahama, and 10 other candidates.
“Twenty-one of the incidents are true cases of electoral violence, six of which involve gunshots resulting in the death of five,” it said.
Independent observers this week congratulated Ghana for conducting largely peaceful polls, in line with its reputation as one of West Africa’s most stable democracies.
But tensions have risen as the camps of Mahama and Akufo-Addo said their tallies showed their candidate in the lead.
Mahama and Akufo-Addo, 76, are old rivals who have faced off at the ballot box twice before.
Mahama was president for four years until 2016 before being succeeded by Akufo-Addo. Both of those elections were determined by small margins.
Akufo Addo has promised to implement a $17 billion programme to boost Ghana’s economy after the coronavirus pandemic hit the price of key oil and cocoa exports, resulting in the first quarterly contraction in nearly 40 years.
He will be under pressure to rein in government spending that has pushed the debt-to-GDP ratio past 70 percent and prompted warnings from the International Monetary Fund.