2008 Ghanaian general election

General elections were held in Ghana on 7 December 2008.[1] Since no candidate received more than 50% of the votes, a run-off election was held on 28 December 2008 between the two candidates who received the most votes, Nana Akufo-Addo of the governing New Patriotic Party and John Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress.[2] Mills was certified as the victor by a margin of less than one percent, winning the presidency on his third attempt.[3] It is to date the closest election in Ghanaian history.

2008 Ghanaian general election

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Presidential election
7 December 2008 (first round)
28 December 2008 (second round)
Nominee John Atta Mills Nana Akufo-Addo
Popular vote 4,521,032 4,480,446
Percentage 50.23% 49.77%

President before election

John Kufuor


John Atta Mills

Background Edit

On 21 December 2006, former Vice-President John Atta Mills, who unsuccessfully ran as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate in 2000 and 2004, was overwhelmingly elected by NDC as its candidate for the 2008 presidential election.[4]

Former Foreign Minister Nana Akufo-Addo was elected as the 2008 presidential candidate of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) at a party congress on 23 December 2007. Although he fell short of the required 50%, the second-place candidate, former Trade Minister John Alan Kyeremanten, conceded defeat and backed Akufo-Addo.[5]

The stakes of the election were raised by the discovery of oil in Ghana and an expectation for incoming oil revenues to begin in 2010.[6] Additionally, allegations of electoral fraud that resulted in violence following elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe and military coups d'état in Mauritania and Guinea caused international election monitors to hope the Ghanaian elections would refurbish the image of constitutional democracy in Africa.[6]

Presidential candidates Edit

The following eight candidates formally registered with the Electoral Commission of Ghana.[7]

Opinion polls Edit

A poll conducted in April 2008 showed Mills slightly ahead of Akufo-Addo. The National Commission for Civic Education conducted the poll which sampled 5,327 people. The poll also predicted a high voter turnout of 96.9%. Respondents came from coastal, middle and northern areas of the country.[8]

Another poll conducted in October 2008 by the Angus Reid Global Monitor saw Akufo-Addo leading. The poll was conducted by interviewing 3,000 adults in all the regions of the country.[9]

Administered Akufo-Addo
Undecided Source
Apr. 2008 42.6%  — 42.9% 1.1% 6.3% 7.1% [1]
Oct. 2008 50.5% 0.4% 35.6% 2.1% 7.0%  — [2]

Results Edit

Turnout on election day was very high. Since few votes were expected for other candidates than those of the two largest parties, a first-round victory for Akufo-Addo or Mills was seen as possible, but Nduom stated he wished to "surprise" the other parties by gaining enough votes to force a run-off between the two others.[10] With 40% of the vote counted, Akufo-Addo was leading with 49.5% to Mills's 47.6%.[11] While Mills pulled ahead afterwards, Akufo-Addo again led by a slim margin with over 70% of the votes counted.[12]

The second round was rerun on 28 December 2008 but due to logistics problems, the Tain District alone had its run-off election on 2 January 2009 due to problems with distributing ballots. Following the voting on 28 December, Mills led by a slim margin, causing the Election Commission to state it would not announce Mills as the winner until after the election rerun in Tain.[13] Prior to the announcement hundreds of NDC supporters converged on the election headquarters demanding that Mills be declared the victor, but were kept at bay by riot police and armed soldiers.[6]

Fear of election day violence caused the NPP to file a lawsuit seeking to delay voting in Tain as it claimed that "the atmosphere in the rural district was not conducive to a free and fair election". The court denied the NPP's injunction request and said it would only hear the case on 5 January 2009. In response, the NPP called its supporters to boycott the vote, for which it was criticised by civil groups.[14]

President Edit

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
John Atta MillsNational Democratic Congress4,056,63447.924,521,03250.23
Nana Akufo-AddoNew Patriotic Party4,159,43949.134,480,44649.77
Paa Kwesi NduomConvention People's Party113,4941.34
Edward MahamaPeople's National Convention73,4940.87
Emmanuel Ansah-AntwiDemocratic Freedom Party27,8890.33
Kwasi Amoafo-YeboahIndependent19,3420.23
Thomas Ward-BrewDemocratic People's Party8,6530.10
Kwabena AdjeiReformed Patriotic Democrats6,8890.08
Valid votes8,465,83497.639,001,47898.98
Invalid/blank votes205,4382.3792,8861.02
Total votes8,671,272100.009,094,364100.00
Registered voters/turnout12,472,75869.5212,472,75872.91
Source: African Elections Database

Parliament Edit

Map showing the party-political geography of Ghana after the 2008 parliamentary elections.
Green: National Democratic Congress
Blue: New Patriotic Party
Yellow: People's National Convention
Red: Convention People's Party
Grey: Independent
New Patriotic Party4,013,01346.94107–21
National Democratic Congress3,776,91744.17116+22
Convention People's Party252,2662.951–2
People's National Convention117,7321.382–2
Independents and others390,0504.564+3
Valid votes8,549,97897.65
Invalid/blank votes205,4382.35
Total votes8,755,416100.00
Registered voters/turnout12,472,75870.20
Source: Adam Carr IPU

By region Edit

Party Ashanti Brong Ahafo Central Eastern Greater Accra Northern Upper East Upper West Volta Western Total
National Democratic Congress 3 9 11 8 18 21 8 6 21 11 114
New Patriotic Party 34 15 8 19 9 4 4 3 1 10 107
Independent 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 4
People's National Convention 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2
Convention People's Party 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
National Total 39 23* 19 27* 27 26 13 10 22 22 228
Source: Electoral Commission of Ghana

Aftermath Edit

The effective management of the 2008 election by the Electoral Commission of Ghana, raised interest for African and international election reformers.[15] In November 2009, a conference was held to analyze the 2008 election, and try to establish new standards and practices for African election commissions.[15] Held in Accra, the conference was titled Colloquium on African Elections:Best Practices and Cross-Sectoral Collaboration.[15] The conference was organized by a number of international election reform organizations including the National Democratic Institute, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and UNDP.[15] Conference participants agreed to a communique that makes recommendations directed at African governments, civil society organizations, election management bodies, political parties, election monitoring and observer groups, security services, and the media to improve the credibility of elections in Africa.[16]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Ross, Will (2008-12-02). "Poll stakes high in oil-boom Ghana". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  2. ^ "Ghana election to go to a run-off". BBC News. 2008-12-10. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  3. ^ "Opposition leader wins run-off poll". BBC News. 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  4. ^ "NDC CONGRESS RESULTS-Prof Wins". ModernGhana.com. 2006-12-22. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  5. ^ "Akufo-Addo Is The Man Of The Moment — President". ModernGhana.com. 2006-12-24. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  6. ^ a b c "Ghana opposition claims poll win". BBC News. 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  7. ^ "2008 Presidential Candidates". Electoral Commission of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  8. ^ "NCCE Poll — April 2008". Think Ghana. Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  9. ^ "Akufo-Addo Leads Rivals in Ghana". Angus Reid Global Monitor. 2008-12-01. Archived from the original on 2009-01-11. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  10. ^ "Race tight in Ghana's vote count". BBC News. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  11. ^ "Ghana ruling party chief holds slim vote lead for president". The Raw Story. Agence France-Presse. 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-12-10.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Ruling party's man leads in Ghana". BBC News. 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  13. ^ "Ghana presidential vote to be rerun in single area". Associated Press. 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  14. ^ "Ghana vote despite party boycott". BBC News. 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  15. ^ a b c d "EXPERTS GATHER IN GHANA TO DEVELOP IMPROVED STANDARDS FOR AFRICAN ELECTIONS" (PDF) (Press release). National Democratic Institute. 9 November 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2011.
  16. ^ African Experts Lay Out Recommendations for Credible Elections, NDI, 22 December 2009. http://www.ndi.org/node/15971 Archived 2010-03-05 at the Wayback Machine

External links Edit