- Title: Ghana election commission calls for calm as results are counted
- Date: 8th December 2016
- Summary: SUPPORTERS SITTING
- Embargoed: 23rd December 2016 15:38
- Keywords: Ghana election Dzakpasu result commission
- Location: ACCRA, GHANA
- City: ACCRA, GHANA
- Country: Ghana
- Reuters ID: LVA0055C0XEMF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Ghana's main opposition party said on Thursday (December 8) it had an unassailable lead in the presidential election and called on President John Mahama to concede defeat.
The tension has led the electoral commission to step in and call for calm.
"We want to assure the people of this country again that the commission is on course to delivering a credible free and fair election. So far the voting process has been smooth, has been transparent, and has been attested to by the major contenders in the game," said Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, the electoral commission head of communications.
The opposition New Patriotic Party said its candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, had taken 53.5 percent of the vote according to its own tally, against 44.8 percent for Mahama based on 92 percent of 29,000 polling stations collated.
"Per our provisional results, it is absolutely clear that the NPP has won a landslide victory. This is apparent from the parliamentary results so far announced. We have at least gained an additional 47 new seats across the country," NPP youth organiser Sammy Awuku added.
The NPP comments, however, looked likely to raise tension among its supporters despite Ghana's history of peaceful voting. Even when the result has been close, politicians have generally not taken their disputes to the streets.
At the ruling NDC (National Democratic Congress) headquarters in capital Accra, the party's deputy general secretary, Kweku Anyidoho, said their candidate was marginally ahead in the polls.
Figures shown by various television and radio stations showed the two main candidates running generally neck-and-neck.
Privately-owned Joy FM put Akufo-Addo at 48.96 percent and Mahama 48.72 percent with 76 of 275 constituencies counted.
Ghana has been one of Africa's most stable democracies and voters have ejected the government of the day twice since 2000.
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