Nana Akufo-Addo, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice and later Minister for Foreign Affairs, has been officially declared winner of the December 7 presidential poll after his third attempt on the ticket of the new Patriotic Party (NPP).
Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, announced the results in Accra Friday night and said Akufo-Addo had 53.85% of valid votes cast while his main contender, President John Mahama, who contested on the ticket of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), had 44.40%.
The announcement sparked rapturous jubilation across the country as crowds poured into the streets to celebrate the victory all night long.
Several thousands of persons, within minutes of the announcement trooped to the Nima residence of the president-elect until the police team at the residence had no choice but to block one half of the road to ease the flow of traffic and human movement.
The EC boss said the NPP candidate, Akufo-Addo, polled a total of 5,716,026 votes while the NDC candidate, John Mahama, had 4,713,277.
Total votes cast were 10,781,609 but valid votes were 10,615,361 because spoilt ballots toalled 166, 248 (1.54%).
Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), had 105,682 votes representing 1%; Ivor Greenstreet, candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), had 25,395 representing 0.24% while. Dr. Edward Mahama, candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), had 22,214 representing 0.21%.
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, candidate of the National Democratic Party (NDP), polled 16,878 (0.16%) while Jacob Ofosu Yeboah, an independent candidate, had 15,889 (0.15%).
The figures were compiled without votes from four constituencies which results had not yet been certified.
Madam Charlotte Osei explained that the total number of registered voters from the four outstanding constituencies amounted to 220, 270 and would have no effect whatsoever on the final declaration.
The president-elect gave an address at his residence minutes after the announcement that he had won the poll.
He promised to be president for all. “You have not elected me to serve one party but to serve the entire nation. The president of Ghana is president for every single Ghanaian without discrimination, malice or ill-will to any ethnic group, political or religious affiliation.
“Whether you supported me or not, whether you campaigned for me or not, whether you voted for me or not, I can promise you one thing: I would do my best to serve your interest and put our country back on the part of progress and prosperity,” he underscored.
Nana Addo continued, “There has never been a more humbling moment in my life and I thank you, the good people of Ghana, for the confidence you hev reposed in me and my party. I make this solemn pledge to you tonight; I would not let you down and would do all in my power to live up to your hopes and expectations.”
The outgoing president led the NDC to victory in December 2012 after the death of his boss, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, four months to that year’s elections.
“I know that this is not the outcome that we expected but we are hopeful”, John Mahama said in an address moments after the announcement and confirmed that he had personally made a phone call to Nana Akufo-Addo to concede defeat and had congratulated him as the president-elect.
‘I would like to assure the people of Ghana of my commitment to our country’s democracy and would work to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to the incoming administration,” he assured.
The certified results show that Nana Akufo-Addo won with 5,716,026 (representing 53.85%), compared to incumbent President John Dramani Mahama’s 4,713,277, which represents 44.40% as at midday before the EC finally announced the results.
Earlier, various media outlets had projected Nana Akufo-Addo as leading between 52% and 54% and ruled out a possible run-off.
The EIB Group which operates Starr FM, Kasapa FM and GHOne TV station had 262 constituencies declared and had projected Nana Akufo-Addo with 5,590,952 (54.31%) and President Mahama with 4,517,428 (43.88%).
Multimedia Group, operators of Joy FM and Adom FM, had projected Nana Akufo-Addo as polling 5,232,787 (53.64%) and President Mahama, 4,347,226 (44.56%), when 251 constituency results had been declared. They had announced in the early hours of yesterday that Nana Akufo-Addo was the likely winner.
Despite Group of Companies which operates Peace FM, Okay FM, Neat FM and UTV, claimed that Nana Akufo-Addo, with 263 constituencies declared, had won with 5,503,740 (54.29%) as President Mahama had garnered 4,448,959 ballots (43.88%) with a margin of 1,054,781.
Citifm said with 240 constituencies declared, Nana Akufo-Addo was leading with 5,170,239 (54.87%) and President Mahama with 4,092,223.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) representatives at the EC’s National Coalition Centre later said they had verified and endorsed result sheets from 239 constituencies.
They said President Mahama had 4,163,275, which represented 43.69% with the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo bagging 5,144,502, (53.99%).
At 5pm, all the party representatives at the commission, except the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), had reportedly appended their signatures on the result sheets at the EC’s final collation centre in Accra and that signaled that the commission was due to declare the final outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
The EC had made it clear that the refusal of any party’s representative to sign the final results did not invalidate the declaration of the results.
At about 9:45 am the EC boss held a news conference saying 210 out of 275 results were ready, adding that there was 49% voter turnout – a figure widely disputed by many experts.
She then urged the presidential candidates to advise their agents to bear with the EC in validating the results.
Fear & Panic
There has been anxiety in the country following President Mahama and his NDC’s earlier refusal to concede defeat, in spite of the fact on the ground that the opposition candidate had taken an unassailable lead.
The NDC was also contemplating going to court to challenge the results before the EC’s final verdict, but that was dropped by President Mahama later, calling for cool heads to prevail. He then called Nana Akufo-Addo on phone to congratulate him.
By dawn yesterday, there was a message on social media attributed to Dr. Michael Kpesa Whyte of the National Service Scheme urging people to wear white because President Mahama was winning.
Kobina Ade Coker, NDC Greater Accra Regional Chairman, further heightened the tension when he organized the ruling party’s supporters to troop to President Mahama’s residence at Cantonments, Accra, to start jubilating.
After minutes, scores of NDC supporters had massed up at the president’s residence, chanting party slogans and insisting that the EC was going to declare Mr. Mahama winner to continue as president for another term.
Positive Or Negative
A little after 11am, President Mahama came out clad in white and surrounded by some of his ministers and party officials to address the supporters.
“We will respect the outcome of the election, positive or negative,” President Mahama said, adding, “Let’s wait for EC to give out figures. We will do our comparison. We have our figures. Let us all be calm.”
By Halifax Ansah-Addo &William Yaw Owusu/dailyguideafrica.com