General News of Thursday, 7 December 2017
An eventful year filled with tension, excitement, fear, and hope, the 2016 election was set to be a history-making year in Ghana.
If he had lost, Akufo-Addo would be the first NPP Presidential candidate to lose elections 4-times in a row trying, any other party aside the NPP and NDC could have also made history of being the first aside the two main parties to win a presidential election in the fourth republic.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) was so confident of victory in the 2016 General Elections from the beginning of the year and this was evident during all their campaigns.
But the story changed for them as the party’s presidential candidate, John Mahama, made history as the first sitting president to lose an election in Ghana making Nana Addo the first to have won the presidential election on a fourth try.
Ghanaians prepare for election
With just a day to the general elections, several people within the capital who couldn’t travel earlier, tried making the journey to their respective electoral areas to cast their ballot.
A visit to the main bus terminal at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra showed many people in long queues awaiting vehicles to convey them to their destinations, confirming earlier reports indicating that people were stranded. Many of the prospective voters who were heading to Kumasi, had boarded cargo vehicles to convey them to their various destinations.
However, scores of commuters were stranded at some bus terminals within the capital due to unavailability of vehicles to transport them to their various constituencies.
By nightfall on 6th December, people started queuing with stones, chairs, gallons and other things just to be able to cast their votes early enough.
Others gave up their beds for the night and stayed in queues from 9:00pm till they casted their votes in the morning.
The 2016 General Elections was fairly-smooth with a few hitches as it is the norm of every activity. Ghanaians turned up in their numbers at various polling stations across the country.
Apart from the Jaman North Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, where elections was postponed to December 8, all the other 274 constituencies casted their votes on the scheduled election day, December 7.
Voting in the constituency was suspended upon an objection was raised by the NDC parliamentary candidate for the area, Fredrick Ahinkwaa and his agents who alleged that the materials provided for the election did not tally with that of the party [NDC].
Leaders of the various political parties continually urged their party supporters to cast their votes in peace whilst being vigilante.
In the early hours of counting, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) declared victory for their presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. According to the NPP Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu, figures that were at their disposal suggested that Nana Akufo-Addo was in the lead with 4,600,000 votes as against 3,640,000 for the incumbent, President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NPP made the projections based on 80 percent of results it obtained nationwide. Appalled by NPP’s decision to declare their presidential candidate winner, the NDC held a press conference to assure it’s supporters that then President Mahama was in the “comfortable lead” per the figures available to them
Akufo-Addo declared winner
After several calls to announce the winner of the election, the Electoral Commission finally declared Akufo-Addo winner on the night of 9th December 2016 – two days after the elections.