Ghana's incumbent president, John Dramani Mahama, has secured a first round victory in an election which was extended because of the malfunctioning of voter-identification machines.
Mahama had over 50 percent of votes cast from the country's 275 constituencies, according to results declared by the electoral body. Nana Akufo-Addo, the main opposition candidate, had 47.7 percent, the result showed.
Ghana's election was peaceful and transparent even with the "logistical challenges that caused undue delays in completing the electoral process," an observer mission from the Economic Community of West African States said in a statement, yesterday.
Meanwhile, former Nigerian president and Head of the AU/ECOWAS Observer Mission, Olusegun Obasanjo, has described Ghana's election as free, fair and peaceful and should, therefore, be emulated by other African countries.
Equipment to scan fingerprints failed in 18 percent of the country's voting centers, according to the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers, which had 4,500 poll-watchers. Half of the centers were open 15 minutes after the scheduled start, yesterday, because of delays in providing voting materials, the group said in an e-mailed statement.
413 stations were open yesterday, or 1.6 percent of the total, according to the Electoral Commission. Polls closed at 5pm.
Mahama, 54, of the National Democratic Congress is contesting against New Patriotic Party leader Akufo-Addo, 68, for the presidency. Six others are also vying for the position. Mahama came to office in July after the death of John Atta Mills, who defeated Akufo-Addo by less than one percentage point in 2008.