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07.12.2008 Elections

Voting in Election 2008 ends peacefully

By GNA
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Voting in Election 2008 ended generally peacefully at 1700 hours on Sunday December 7 2008 throughout the country.

About 12.5 million Ghanaians went to the polls to elect a President and 230 Parliamentarians in what was described as an exciting contest among four front-running political parties – New Patriotic (NPP); National Democratic Congress (NDC); People's National Convention (PNC) and Convention People's Party (CPP).

Some political analysts had gone further to narrow the contest down to between the ruling NPP and the main opposition NDC with CPP expected to cause a stir and probably push the contest into a second round.

Polling started at 0700 hours and ended officially at 1700 hours at the 22,000 polling centres throughout the country. The first results are expected late on Sunday night or early on Monday morning. The Electoral Commission expects all results to be declared within 72 hours.

Voting was generally peaceful except in a few polling stations where the behaviour of party agents created confusion.

An unspecified number of people were arrested trying to vote more than once or to impersonate while a few were fell foul of the law for violent behaviour.

President John Agyekum Kufuor and Former President Jerry John Rawlings cast their votes in their respective polling centres in Accra.

The eight candidates in the presidential contest also voted in Election 2008 considered as historic since it would lead to the second uninterrupted handover of power by an elected leader to another elected leader in the country's 51-year political history.

It was the fifth successive multi-party elections under the Fourth Republic. Former President Rawlings, who transformed himself from a military leader into a democratically elected president in 1992 on the ticket of the NDC, served his full two terms. His term of office ended on January 6, 2001.

President Kufuor, who won the presidency on the ticket of the NPP, would be the second Ghanaian elected leader to hand over to another elected leader.

Seven political parties and an independent candidate contested for the single presidential slot while a total of 1,060 parliamentary candidates slugged it out for seats in the 230-seat Legislature.

Statistics from the EC Research and Monitoring Department made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra indicated that the ruling NPP and the main opposition NDC contested in 229 constituencies each.

The NPP contested for 21 out of the 22 constituencies in the Western Region whiles the NDC contested 38 out of 39 constituencies in the Ashanti Region.

The Convention People's Party (CPP) contested in 206 constituencies; People's National Convention (PNC) 129; Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) 108; Democratic People's Party (DPP) 49; Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD) 10; and New Vision Party (NVP) four.

The rest were: Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) two seats; Ghana National Party (GNP) one seat and 95 independent candidates.

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), who went round a number of constituencies in Greater Accra and Volta Regions expressed satisfaction about the conduct of the elections.

Professor John Evans Atta Mills, Presidential Candidate of NDC, was exuding with confidence when he went to cast his vote, and predicted that he would win a “one touch” victory. Voting was generally peaceful except a few isolated incidents.

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