John Atta Mills of Ghana’s opposition National Democratic Congress has won the tightly-fought presidential election, the electoral commission said on Saturday.
He will succeed President John Kufuor, who is due to stand down on Jan. 7 after the two terms allowed.
Here are brief details about Mills.
— The victory of Mills, a 64-year-old foreign-trained lawyer and taxation expert, broke an eight-year spell in power by Kufuor’s New Patriotic Party (NPP). Mills was standing for the third time as presidential contender. He had lost twice to Kufuor in elections in 2000 and 2004.
— Mills had served as vice-president to President Jerry Rawlings, a fiery former coup leader, who stood down in 2000 after two elected terms under the democratic constitution Rawlings himself had introduced.
— Mills is from Ghana’s Akan ethnic group, hailing from Ekumfi Otuam in the Central region. He studied law both at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and as a Fulbright scholar at Stanford Law School in the United States.
— Mills was national tax commissioner under Rawlings before being promoted to the vice-presidency in 1997. He has held positions as examiner in several finance-related institutions, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Institute of Bankers, and the Ghana Tax Review Commission.
— He is a keen swimmer and hockey player and once played for the national team. He is married and has a 19-year-old son.
— Mills’s running mate is northern-born John Mahama, a member of parliament who was minister of communications under Rawlings.