Ghana votes in tight race between incumbent and former president

Ghanaians set to elect the new parliament and president in a race dubbed ‘the battle of two giants’.

(Aljazeera) Ghanaians have voted in presidential and parliamentary elections, with the race for the top job expected to be a close fight between incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo and his predecessor and longtime opponent, John Mahama.

Voters on Monday queued up at polling stations from the crack of dawn to select a president among 12 candidates and members of parliament for 275 constituencies. Key issues concerning the electorate include unemployment, infrastructure, education and health.

Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from the capital, Accra, said security was tight in many polling stations amid measures against COVID-19.

“The incumbent president is fighting his biggest political battle in this election against the man he replaced four years ago in a closely contested election,” he said.

“Now, Akufo-Addo is trying to convince Ghanaians he is still the man for the job while opponent Mahama says he can perform better.”

As polling stations closed at 17:00 GMT, raucous crowds filld the streets of the historic Jamestown area of Accra.

Crowds cheered and chanted “four more years!” as Akufo-Addo, of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), cast his vote in the eastern town of Kyebi.

“I’m feeling fine, happy that the process is going well and peacefully,” the 76-year-old Akufo-Addo said.

Mahama, 62, of the National Democratic Congress party (NDC), was less gushing. “It’s too early to make an assessment, but I understand there have been a few hitches,” he said after casting his vote.

A few polling stations opened late but no major incidents were recorded by election observers across the 38,000 polling stations.

“We call on all our agents and all Ghanaians to stay alert. When voting is done and counting begins, go to the polling station and monitor the counting,” the opposition NDC’s Elvis Afriyie Ankrah told a news conference in Accra.

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