By Jessica Ahedor
The Electoral Commissioner of Ghana, Jean Mensa has finally declared the incumbent Nana Akufo Addo as winner the Presidential elections amidst controversies over what the main opposition , National Democratic Congress ,NDC termed “cooked figures” in favor of the ruling party.
Announcing the result at the Commission’s headquarters in Accra, the electoral commissioner said the incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo polled a total of 6,730,413, representing 51.595% while John Mahama garnered 6, 214, 889 representing 47.366% in the 8th election in the 4th Republic that had a list of 12 candidates on the ballot.
The third position is Ghana Union Movement (GUM), with 105,565 representing 0.85%. Convention People’s Party (CPP) came fourth with 12,215 (0.093%), followed by Ghana Freedom Party who polled 5,575, representing 0.042%. Great Consolidated Popular Party is next with 3,574 (0.02%), People’s National Convention with 10,887 representing 0.083%; Progressive People’s Party, 6,848 (0.052%), National Democratic Party, 6,612, (0.050%) and taking the last position is Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker, an independent candidate, 9,703 (0.074%).
The Electoral Commission also indicated that these results were without those from the Techiman South constituency – contested by the opposition party that raised a red flag of a suspected fraud. But she says even if the entire results from the said constituency was added to that of Mr. John Mahama, he would still be behind as far as the percentage margin required for winning this year’s election.
Controversies prior to the announcement
The two major parties, – New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress has been taking turns to announced their collated figures from the respective representatives across the 16 regions of the country, proclaiming victory and well as debunking each other’s purported figures.
The NDC had on three occasions claimed victory and cautioned that any attempt by the EC to massage the figures to turn their eventual win into a defeat would come with “serious consequences”. The former President John Mahama who addressed the third press conference on December 8 2020, said the party “would resist any attempt to subvert the will of the people”.
Mr. Mahama motioned and accused the President of resorting to undemocratic means to steal the will of the people. “Some of what is happening is unacceptable and Nana Akufo-Addo continues to show credentials that are very undemocratic. You cannot use the military to try to overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won and, so, we would resist any attempt to subvert the sovereign will of the people. The right thing must be done.
“We’ve collated our results and we thank the Ghanaian people for the confidence they have in us and we will give further details later … and our people should remain calm as we wait for the final verdict but we are happy that Ghanaians have voted for change”, he maintained.
Few hours to the declaration of the results, some party faithful of the main opposition party NDC beseeched the headquarters of the EC singing and chanting holding placards with inscriptions that reads we voted for peace, do the needful and save Ghana, we voted change among others.
The NPP on the other hand also saw its party supporters gathering at the premises of the party’s office awaiting the declaration of the outcome of the elections.
Therefore, the EU observer mission’s summery made these comments …
The 2020 elections were organized in an efficient and transparent manner, and voters participated freely. The elections were competitive, and contestants could campaign without hindrance. A few isolated violent incidents occurred, and numerous stakeholders expressed deep apprehensions about the possible use of vigilante groups by political parties. Unregulated political finance, misuse of state resources and numerous instances of vote-buying resulted in an unlevel playing field.
Ghana’s vibrant and diverse media sector provided voters with sufficient information on both major competing parties and their candidates. However, state media favoured the ruling party and its presidential candidate who received extensive coverage at government inaugurations. The main opposition party frequently expressed a lack of confidence in the Electoral Commission, accusing it of partisanship and criticising the timing of the new voter registration exercise, so close to elections and during a pandemic.
However, the process was inclusive and resulted in a high number of registered voters, and the quality of the register was positively tested on election day.