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Politics | Dec 9, 2004

Kufuor heads for poll win

GNA

Ghana remained calm Wednesday as results pointed to president John Agyekum Kufuor heading for a first-round victory as the picture of the election became clearer 24 hours after polls closed.

His New Patriotic Party (NPP) is also in a strong lead in the 230- member parliament.

According to results from 176 constituencies in the presidential election released by the Electoral Commission shows that Kufuor has 3 832 298 votes (55.6 percent).

His closet rival, former vice president John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has 2 899 553 votes (about 42.1 percent).

Of the 169 parliamentary seats declared, the ruling NPP has 108 seats, NDC 57, People's national Convention three and CPP one seat.

Several ministers including the foreign, finance, interior, energy won their seats.

Kufuor, who turned 66 on Wednesday, took a strong lead from the first results on Tuesday night and has not looked back.

He has made strong gains in his traditional strongholds of Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo and Western Regions and making deep inroads into the Central Region, the home region of his closest rival John Atta Mills.

The elections ended peacefully after what was described as a heavy turnout and the electoral commission says it is satisfied with the process. Turn out so far is around 78 percent.

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers gave the voting a thumbs-up saying although there were slight delays in the commencement, polling was generally peaceful and orderly.

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