President john Dramani Mahama concedes defeat to former foreign minister Akufo-Addo.
Ghana’s main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo won the country’s national election, defeating President John Mahama, electoral commissioner Charlotte Osei said.
A few hours before the official announcement of the results, hundreds of supporters, dressed in white from head to foot, gathered in front of Mr Akufo-Addo’s modest residence to celebrate their victory, 48 hours after the closure of voting.
Mobs of jubilant supporters gathered outside the house of the 72-year-old New Patriotic Party (NPP) leader, who had already demanded victory on Thursday, a day after the voting took place.
Nana Akufo-Addo defeated President Mahama by 53.8 percent to 44.4 percent, Osei said.
“It is my duty and my honour to declare Nana Akufo-Addo as the president-elect of Ghana,” she told a news conference in the capital, Accra, on Friday.
Before Osei’s announcement, Akufo-Addo said that John Mahama called him “congratulating me on winning the 2016 presidential election”.
“I make this sincere pledge to you tonight: I will not let you down. I will do all in my power to meet your hopes and expectations,” Akufo-Addo told supporters, militants and followers in front of his residence.
“This is the moment so many people had been waiting for here at Akufo-Addo’s house since the end of the voting,” he said.
“It’s been a long wait, especially with the delay by the election commission. Their systems broke down and they had to fax through polling sheets from 29,000 stations.”
“The president of Ghana is the president of all Ghanaians,” he told the crowd as fireworks were fired into the air.
Earlier, Mahama had appealed for calm and told his supporters he would respect the outcome of the vote, whether he won or lost, in comments aimed at defusing tension in advance of the release of official results of the vote.
“I want to assure the nation that we will respect the outcome of the election, positive or negative, and so let us just be calm,” he told supporters gathered outside his house.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) “took note of the announcement of the final outcome” and welcomed the outgoing president “for accepting the will of the people of Ghana” and showing his qualities of ” A statesman, “in a statement.
ECOWAS also congratulated Mr Akufo-Addo “for his well-deserved victory”, encouraging him to work “to solve the crucial problems, especially youth unemployment and economic growth.”
Mahama, who came to power in 2012 after beating Akufo-Addo, urged voters to “stay the course”, promising to deliver more infrastructure projects.
Ghana’s elections have been historically close, with Mahama narrowly winning against Akufo-Addo in 2012 with 50.7 percent. Akufo-Addo unsuccessfully challenged Mahama’s victory in the courts.
Ghana is the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa after Ivory Coast and Africa’s second biggest gold producer after South Africa.
Mamadou Dian Donghol Diallo.