Ghanians vote in tight presidential poll

Accra, Dec 7 (IANS) Ghanaians went to the polls on Wednesday to elect a new president and 275 Members of Parliament. Hours before the polls opened, a political clash in the northern part of the country claimed two lives and left 14 others injured.

About 15 million voters in the country’s estimated 28 million population are voting amid a tight election race between President John Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and veteran opposition leader Nana Akufo Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“We are making a choice between a corrupt government and a true and tested personality who devoted his life to public service,” Fred Acheampon, a civil servant told IANS.

Over the past few months there have been fears of political violence in the north and the eastern part of the country that borders Togo. NPP activists claim the ruling party was preparing to bus Togolese nationals to vote in the election.

President Mahama, in a pre-election broadcast on Tuesday night, said that after six successful elections, Ghana was ready to prove to the world that its democracy has come of age. “Ghana shall pass this test with distinction,” he said.

Five other candidates, including Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, a former first lady and wife of former President Jerry Rawlings are also in the race.

“I would want to see President Mahama continue in office. Those who accuse him of doing little about unemployment do not follow the global trend. He is doing his best,” said Jonas Alidu, a student.

The results are expected by Saturday.