Ghana Begins Voting In Presidential Election

Ghana begins voting in presidential election

KIBI, Ghana, Dec 7, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 07th Dec, 2016 ) - Ghanaians began voting Wednesday in an unpredictable presidential election that is being seen as a litmus test of stability in Africa's most secure democracy.

Once praised by US President Barack Obama for its peaceful transfers of power, Ghana has come under fire amid reports of voter intimidation and questions over the independence of the country's election agency.

Charismatic incumbent John Mahama is running for reelection against veteran politician Nana Akufo-Addo, who has chipped away at the popularity of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) party by criticising the country's sluggish growth and high-profile corruption scandals.

Some 15 million people are registered to vote, and polling stations opened across the country at 0700 GMT.

"We are facing a lot of problems economically, everything is messy," Julie Amofah, a 26-year-old who cast the first ballot at a polling station in Kibi, a town 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the capital, Accra.

"I voted for change so we can move forward." Shadrack Opoku, an 18-year-old high school student, said Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is the "right person for our country" who can secure future growth.

"When we complete university, we want better jobs," Opoku said. "Right now it's not good." In the final days of the campaign, Mahama flexed his significant resources to reach as many battleground regions as possible where he inaugurated blockbuster infrastructure projects, including railways and airports.