Campaigning in the Ghanaian elections came to an end on Monday, as Ghanaians prepare to head to the polls on Wednesday. 15.8 million Ghanaians are registered to cast their votes, a figure that represents 57% of the country’s population.
On the final day of the campaigns, the leader of the opposition’s NPP (New Patriotic Party) Nana Akufo-Addo accused the ruling party of encouraging violence and at the same time denounced police neutrality.
I urge the Electoral Commission, security personnel and all the officials to do their work professionally.— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) December 6, 2016
“We are really at a pivotal moment,” Akufo-Addo told reporters in his residence in the capital of Accra.
“It is important that these acts of violence perpetrated by elements of the ruling party are brought before the courts,” he added.
Akufo-Addo, a 72-year-old lawyer, was minister of justice from 2001 until 2003 when he became foreign minister. Both Akufo-Addo and Mahama are veteran politicians. Both stem from rich and influential families and studied or worked abroad, before climbing the political ladder.
The election is widely seen as a two-horse race between Akufo-Addo and incumbent president John Mahama. Over the weekend Mahama took to Twitter to call on Ghanaians to “ignore any form of provocation” this weekend, asking the Ghanaians to vote and “wait for the results peacefully.
On his final campaign rally in Accra on Monday night Mahama said: “Ghana has been under my protection during my presidency and Ghana has to remain the most peaceful and stable nation in Africa.”
Ghana became the first African country to gain independence from colonial rule in 1957 and is seen as role model for democracy on the continent, and if neither sides win more than 50% of the votes, Ghana will go for a second round in December.