from RUSSELL ADADEVOH in Accra, Ghana
ACCRA, (CAJ News) – GHANA, the iconic country that is one of the most stable and peaceful nations in the continent, is holding general polls on Monday (today).
More than 15 million voters are registered to participate.
Polls are expected to be a two-horse race between incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo (76) of the New Patriotic Front and former president, John Dramani Mahama (62), the man Akufo-Addo defeated in 2016.
Mahama is the candidate of the National Democratic Congress.
Some ten other candidates, including independent, Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walke, are vying for the presidency in the country of over 30 million people.
Akufo-Addo are perennial contestants having competed against each other in 2012 and 2016, with each man winning once against the other.
The president is elected using the two-round system, while the 275 members of parliament are elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting.
Campaigning has been peaceful in the West African country that in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan nation to break free from colonial rule.
Most candidates decided to suspend their campaigns for a week out of respect to the memory of Jerry Rawlings, the first president of the Fourth Republic, who died on November 12.
The elections in the former Gold Coast are the first the Commonwealth Secretariat has sent an observer group to since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began.
Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, the former President of the East African Court of Justice, is heading the group of observers.
The team arrived in the capital, Accra, on December 3.
“We recognise the significance of these elections to the people of Ghana and appreciate the challenges they come with as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic,” Ugirashebuja said.
Western neighbour, Ivory Coast, is engulfed by crisis after contentious polls held at the end of October.
– CAJ News