GHANA’S ELECTION CAMPAIGN ENDS ON A HIGH


Final campaigning has ended in Ghana, ahead of Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary polls. Massive rallies were held throughout the day for the main contenders – Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling NPP party and John Atta Mills of the opposition NDC.

Whoever wins will be in power when money starts coming in from the oil discovered off Ghana’s coast. The race is seen as being close and many Ghanaians expect it to go to a second round run-off on 28 December.

To win, a candidate must receive more than 50% of the votes. President John Kufuor is to step down in January after serving two terms in office, the maximum he is allowed by the constitution.

The BBC’s Will Ross in Accra says traffic in some part of the capital ground to a halt amongst flag-waving supporters of ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) leader Mr Akufo-Addo. Gigantic billboards are on display throughout the city trumpeting the achievements and promises of the NPP and Mr Akufo-Addo.

He told supporters: “Kufuor has laid the foundations. Now I am going to build the structure”. Some declare that the British-trained lawyer is “The Best Man for Ghana” and he “believes in Ghana”.

Posters for his rival, John Atta Mills, say he is a president “you can trust” and “a better man for Ghana”.

Thousands of Mr Atta Mills’ supporters came out to support him in the coastal town of Tema, where he told them Mr Kufuor had a “responsibility to ensure that he hands over a peaceful country” to his National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The party was founded by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings, who took power in a coup and was president for nearly 20 years. Mr Atta Mills, a former vice-president, has twice before stood for election and lost both times.

Paa Kwesi Nduom is standing for the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the party of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, seen as the founding father of African independence.

Despite the mud slinging of the campaign, there was a carnival atmosphere and friendly exchanges among rival supporters, says our correspondent.

SOURCED FROM BBC

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