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John Atta Mills wins Ghana's presidential election
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10:02, January 04, 2009

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Opposition leader John Atta Mills wins Ghana's presidential election, Electoral Commission announced on Saturday, according to agencies' reports.

Commission chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan said the results of a presidential run-off showed that Mills, candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), won 50.23 percent of the votes against 49.77 percent for the ruling New Patriotic Party's candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.

Afari-Gyan announced on Dec. 10 that neither Akufo-Addo nor Mills obtained the required 50 percent of votes needed for an outright win.

In the first round of election which was held on Dec. 7, Akufo-Addo secured 4,159,439 votes, or 49.13 percent of the total valid counts, while Mills gained 4,056,634 votes, or 47.92 percent. Ghana recorded a nationwide voter population of 12,472,758 for the 2008 elections and turnout was 69.52 percent in the first round.

A total of eight candidates were involved in the presidential race. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) came third with some 1.34 percent of the votes, while the rest five contenders garnered even smaller shares during the Dec.7 vote.

According to the Electoral Commission, the candidate who wins the majority votes in the run-off election would be declared Ghana's president-elect. This would be the second time in Ghana's 51-year history that a democratically elected president would handover power to another.

Voting on Dec.7 was generally peaceful, with only isolated cases of skirmishes appearing in news reports. First round results came out within people's expectations, as the top finishers Akufo-Addo and Mills are both influential politicians in the country.

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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