GHANA’S ELECTIONS HEADED FOR RUN-OFF


Ghana’s presidential election headed for a second round run-off, electoral and party officials said on Tuesday, as the frontrunners seemed unlikely to secure an outright victory.

Although provisional results from Sunday’s elections in the West African state showed the candidate of Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, with an early lead, as more votes came in the run-off scenario gathered strength.The electoral commission will announce full results on Wednesday and confirm the likely need for a run-off between Akufo-Addo and his nearest rival. It would be held on December 28.

The Ghanaian polls are viewed as a test for African democracy after flawed elections elsewhere on the continent.

Analysts say the contest is especially keen as the gold- and cocoa-exporting nation, seen by investors as one of Africa’s most promising emerging markets, looks forward to greater prosperity when offshore oil comes onstream in late 2010.

With votes counted from 175 of the 230 constituencies, the electoral commission had announced that Akufo-Addo had 50 percent, against 46 percent for National Democratic Congress (NDC) opposition leader John Atta Mills.

But a senior commission member, who asked not to be named, said it appeared neither of the two leading contenders would finally obtain the minimum 50 percent plus one vote required to win the election outright in the first round.

SOURCED FROM BBC

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