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Ghana election result not to come out before Friday
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10:01, December 31, 2008

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The official result of Ghanian presidential run-off will not be announced before Friday, the electoral commission said Tuesday, according to agencies' reports.

The Tain constituency, the only of the country's 230 constituencies, which was unable to vote in the run-off held on Sunday, will cast its ballots on Friday.

The electoral commission chief Kwadwo Afari-Gyan did not elaborate on why the voting was not held in Tain constituency in western Ghana, but he was quoted as saying "the results are so close that the outcome of the Tain constituency election could affect the eventual winner, so we have decided that the election in Tain will be held on Friday, January 2 and hopefully it will make it possible for us to determine the winner of the presidential run-off."

According to the official tallying result of all but one constituencies, John Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) held a slim lead with 50.13 percent of the votes, while Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had 49.87 percent.

The winner in the run-off will replace the incumbent John Kufuor, who is supposed to leave office in January after having served two terms, the constitutional limit. It would be the second time in Ghana's 51-year history that a democratically elected president would hand over power to another.

In the parliamentary election held together with the presidential vote on Dec. 7, the NDC overtook the NPP to become the largest party in parliament after it swept 114 seats out of the total 230. The NPP lost 19 seats, all to the NDC, and finished with 107 seats.

Akufo-Addo and Mills are both seen to have acquired enough experiences to lead Ghana's emerging economy, and lead a nation which will soon join the club of oil producing countries of the world.

Akufo-Addo was one of the founding members of the NPP in 1992. Under the administration of John Kufuor, the outgoing president, he was the attorney-general and minister of justice from 2001 to 2003. He later became minister of foreign affairs from April 2003 to July 2003. He then resigned in accordance with his party's constitutional provision to seek the presidential nomination of the NPP.

He was elected as the NPP's presidential flag-bearer on Dec. 23,2007 at a party congress where he won 47.96 percent of the valid votes. Although he fell short of the required 50 percent, John Alan Kyerema-nten, the second placed candidate, conceded and supported Akufo-Addo for the candidacy.

For Atta Mills, the 2008 presidential election is the third time he has run as the presidential candidate of the NDC in a row.

He had twice run unsuccessfully for the presidency. He is believed to be well respected in Ghana because of his pedigree. He entered the political arena after a fulfilled career in the academics as a law lecturer at the University of Ghana. In 1988, Mills became the acting commissioner of Internal Revenue Service of Ghana and was named commissioner in 1996.

He was sworn in as vice-president of Ghana on Jan. 7, 1997. First elected by his party as its presidential flag bearer in December 2002, Mills also led the party to the 2004 elections.


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