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General elections to be held in Ghana

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General elections to be held in Ghana

Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.

Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held throughout Ghana today.

The eight general elections contested since the 1992 establishment of democracy have given control of the government to either the centre-right National Patriotic Party (NPP) or the socialist National Democratic Congress (NDC). Of the twelve candidates running for president, sitting President Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP and his predecessor, former president John Mahama of the NDC, retain significant leads.

Akufo-Addo’s tenure has focused on access to secondary education, but his policies remain controversial. Critics claim that corruption, including suppression of the media and oversight investigations, has intensified under his presidency. Deployment of Ghana’s military into the pro-NDC Volta Region—an area with a secessionist history that could disrupt both external relations and Ghanaian politics—earlier this month has likewise alarmed observers.

The two main parties possess greater public recognition and are more organised than the alternatives. If Mahama wins, expect an emphasis on rural development and demand-side economic policies. If returned to office, Addo-Akufo will likely consolidate improvements to education and further liberalise tax regulations; however, his use of the police and military is likely to intensify polarisation and complicate politics in the Volta Region.

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