The battle to replace President J. A. Kufuor as Ghana’s next president is still deadlocked, and a third and final decider has been fixed for January 2, 2009.
The Tain Constituency of the Brong Ahafo Region, with a voter population of 53,880, is the battleground for the final determination of who becomes president of Ghana. Would it be Nana Addo Adankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) or Prof. J. E. A. Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)?
Two back-to-back races have failed to produce a winner, and even though the coming decider is not exactly a complete race, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission says it holds the key to the ultimate answer.
General Elections on December 7 saw Nana Akufo-Addo lead the race, polling 4,159,439 or 49.13 per cent, while Prof. Mills polled 4,056,634 or 47.92 per cent. On that occasion, the leader failed to win the race because he needed anything above 50 per cent of votes cast.
Then came the run-off, and once again, neither of the contestants has been declared winner yet, pending the outcome of the Tain Constituency election. EC Chairman Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan announced that out of 229 constituencies whose results the Commission collated, Professor Mills has polled 4,501,466 or 50.13 percent of valid votes cast, while Nana Akufo-Addo polled 4,478,411 or 49.87 percent.
Voting in the constituency run-off did not come off because of late arrival of electoral materials, however on December 7, Prof Mills won the constituency votes, once again, marginally. He garnered 16,211 votes against Nana Addo who had 14,935 votes on an occasion turn-out was 61.03 per cent.
Tain was the scene of bitter allegations between the NPP and NDC following the general elections on December 7. The NPP alleged that the constituency result was manipulated to favour the NDC.
Days after the polls, the EC offices in the constituency was razed in what was suspected to be the work of arsonists. A journalist, Kofi Doe Lawson, told Joy FM a security man on duty detected smoke from the building at about 1:00 a.m. before it went up in flames.
Official documents, ballot boxes and the roof of the entire building burnt to ashes.
Credit: Isaac Yeboah