ELECTIONS IN GHANA

Ghana’s president elect – A politician, lawyer, human rights activist

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who will become Ghana’s fifth president of the Fourth Republic when he is sworn in on 7 January 2017, is a lawyer, politician and human rights activist. He was born in Accra on 29 March, 1944. His father was Edward Akufo-Addo, who was Ghana’s Chief Justice before becoming the ceremonial president from 1969-1972. His uncles were prominent politicians in Ghana – Dr J.B. Danquah and Mr William Ofori-Atta. His political career started in 1977, when he became the General Secretary of the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), a group established to oppose the then military government’s proposal of a non-party government dubbed “Union Government”. He is a founding member of the centre-right New Patriotic Party (NPP). This is his third attempt to win the presidency after losing to Professor John Evans Atta Mills in 2008 and John Dramani Mahama. At 72, he becomes the oldest man to ever win a presidential election in Ghana. Akufo-Addo served three terms in parliament as the MP for the Abuakwa South constituency in the Eastern Region. He served from 2001 to 2007, as a cabinet Minister, in the government of John Agyekum Kufuor. He served first as Attorney General for two years and later as Foreign Minister for five years. He obtained his first degree in Economics from the University of Ghana in Accra before studying law in the United Kingdom.

He was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971 and to the Ghana Bar in July 1975 He is married to Rebecca. He has five daughters and two grandchildren.

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Ghana’s president-elect says he will not let the country down

After he was declared the winner, Ghana’s president-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo told his jubilant supporters that he will not let the country down.

In a speech to supporters who thronged his residence in Accra shortly after he was declared winner of the election, he said: “I make this solemn pledge ‘I will not let you down.’ I will do all in my power to fulfil your hopes and aspirations.” Akufo-Addo, who succeeded on his third attempt to win the presidency, added “There has never been a more humbling moment in my life; I thank Ghanaians for the confidence reposed in me and the party (New Patriotic Party).” Akufo-Addo said the peaceful polls meant that the democracy of the country had been further enhanced. He said he had been elected to serve the entire nation and will do that without discrimination and malice or ill-will to any ethnic group or religion. “I promise you one thing: I will do my best to serve my country to put it back on  the road to prosperity.” He urged his supporters to respect the peace, lives and property of the people, especially their opponents while celebrating the victory. He polled 53.85 per cent (5,716,026) to win the election, the chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, said. Addressing a news conference in Accra, she said with the results from 271 out of 275 constituencies available, Nana Akufo-Addo is the winner. The results of the other 4 constituencies with a total of 220,270 votes will not affect the final results. She said President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) polled 44.4 per cent (4,713,277 votes). Ivor Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) polled 0.24% (25,395 votes); Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP) polled 0.165 (16,878 votes); Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) had 1% (105,682 votes); Dr Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC) polled 0.21% (22,214 votes; and Jacob Osei Yeboah, an independent candidate had 0.15% (15,989 votes). She said turnout was 68.22 per cent. There were 10,615,361 valid votes and 166,248 rejected ballots (1.54%). President Mahama conceded defeat in the election, sending supporters of the NPP into a jubilant mood. John Boadu, acting general secretary of the NPP, said President Mahama phoned Nana Akufo-Addo to concede defeat. He said Akufo-Addo, was happy but saw it as a challenge to prove that he could deliver. Supporters of the NPP filled the streets, tooting the horns of cars, blowing vuvuzelas, singing and dancing in the streets. They also converged on Akufo-Addo’s house where he delivered a victory speech. Mahama had earlier said that he would accept the results, whether negative or positive.

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‘I’ve done my bit…I leave my work to history to judge’ – Mahama

Ghana’s outgoing president John Dramani Mahama said he would leave the work that he did as president to history to judge. Speaking to his supporters in his house in Accra, he said: “As president I have done my bit. I have made contributions to the economic, political and social development of the country.” The president said he respected the will of the people and reiterated his commitment to the development of democracy in the country.  He said he would work for a smooth transition. President Mahama said serving as president was the most challenging thing of his life and he was happy to serve and work for Ghana. He thanked members of his party, government, supporters, and foot soldiers for their support and hard work saying the numerous projects they undertook were evidence of their work.

President Mahama has inaugurated the transition team as the country awaits the inauguration of president-elect Akufo-Addo on 7 January 2017

This is the third attempt of Akufo-Addo, a lawyer, politician and human rights advocate, at the presidency after losing in 2008 and 2012 to the late president John Evans Atta Mills and President Mahama respectively.

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President Mahama directs security agencies to maintain order

Ghana’s outgoing president John Dramani Mahama has directed the security agencies to deploy across the country and arrest anybody caught vandalising Government property or attacking innocent Ghanaians. An official statement signed by Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister for Communications, said President Mahama expressed disappointment at the inability or unwillingness of the leadership of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), which won last elections, “to call its rampaging supporters to order”, following a series of attacks on innocent citizens and supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). It said some supporters of the NPP had also attacked Government installations across the country. The NDC, in a separate statement signed by its National Organiser Kofi Adams, said following the Electoral Commission’s declaration of the results of the 2016 Presidential Elections, the party had received several reports of “unprovoked physical attacks” on its supporters. The statement said: “We wish to request the leadership of the New Patriotic Party and President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo to call on their supporters to desist from the attacks and contribute to building a more stable democracy. “These attacks are nothing more than situations that can only create chaos should the attacked also decide to defend themselves.” The NDC urged the security agencies to move in and protect life and property. “We believe that our political parties must be interested in promoting political tolerance among our members. The NPP and its supporters must play their part to help deepen national peace and security.”

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