Ghanaians are voting for the second time in three weeks to elect a president to take over the reins of government when President Kufuor ends his second term come January 9, 2009. The new leader would also take charge of the country’s new economy – the oil find. Ghana is due to start commercial production of oil in 2010. the country is also the world’s second largest producer of cocoa after Cote d’Ivoire.
On December 7, 2008 Ghanaians voted for eight presidential candidates but none of them could garner more than 50% of all the votes cast. The two front runners, Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Prof. John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress have therefore been slated to stand in the run-off to elect a winner.
Nana Akufo-Addo had 4,159,439 votes representing 49.13%, while Prof Mills had 4,056,634 representing 47.92% of total valid votes cast.
The stakes are high for either of the candidates. For Prof. Mills, if he fails to win the elections, this would be the third time he would have failed in his attempt to become Ghana’s president after serving one term as Vice President under the government of former President Jerry Rawlings.
For Nana Akufo-Addo, if he does not win the elections, his first attempt at becoming president, his ambition, which he has nursed almost all his life would not have been fulfilled.
But the high point of this run-off, irrespective of the outcome, would be the peaceful manner in which the election was conducted, and credit must go to the matured and responsible conduct of Ghanaians.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi