What’s at stake in Ghana’s too close to call election?

Pollsters disagree on who will win in a presidential race that has been more about personalities than policy.

Ghana's presidential elections have typically been won by narrow margins, and the upcoming vote looks to be just as close. Credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen.

Ghana’s presidential elections have typically been won by narrow margins, and the upcoming vote looks to be just as close. Credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen.

Ghanaians head to the polls tomorrow, on 7 December, to elect a President and representatives to fill the 275-member House of Parliament. In the presidential race, seven candidates are competing, but it largely a two-horse race between President John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and leading opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

While the ruling party is hoping Ghanaians endorse their “Transformation” agenda, which promises a move towards an era of prosperity and security, the NPP’s message is premised on “Change”, envisioned to offer opportunities for all irrespective of background.

Results of opinion polls have generally been mixed. While the Economic Intelligence Unit and Political Science Department of the University of Ghana have predicted a victory for Akufo-Addo, reputable Ghanaian pollster Ben Ephson suggests Mahama is set to win with 52.4%. It seems the results will not be clear until the nearly 16 million registered voters actually cast their ballots.

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