Ghana president wins second term with 51.59%

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Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has won a second term after a tightly contested presidential election, the country's electoral commission announced on Wednesday, beating long-time opponent John Mahama.

Akufo-Addo of the centre-right New Patriotic Party (NPP) received 6,730,413 or 51.59 percent of votes while Mahama of the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC) received 6,214,889 or 47.36 percent of votes, the commission's chairperson Jean Adukwei Mensa said.

Parliamentary results for the country's 275 constituencies are yet to be announced, but are expected to be very close. Both parties are contesting some of the provisional results.

Mahama, 62, and Akufo-Addo, 76, are old rivals who have faced off at the ballot box twice before.

Mahama was president for four years until 2016, before being succeeded by Akufo-Addo. Both of those elections were determined by small margins.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, turnout was high on Monday, with 13 434 574 people voting or 79 percent of registered voters, according to the electoral commission.

While the vote was largely peaceful, five people were killed in election-related violence, police said Wednesday, casting a shadow over a country hailed for its stable democracy.

Ghana has had seven peaceful transitions of power since the return of democracy more than 30 years ago, and post-electoral grievances have always been pursued through the courts -- a rarity in the troubled region.

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