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Ghana president re-elected for 2nd term in tight race

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addoin arrives to vote at a polling station in Accra, Ghana, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. Voters lined up early in Ghana to cast their ballots in presidential and legislative elections likely to test the West African nation's credentials as one of the most politically stable countries on the continent. (AP Photo/Ofoe Amegavie)

ACCRA – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been re-elected for a second term after a tightly contested election, Ghana's election commission said Wednesday.

Akufo-Addo of the governing New Patriotic Party won Monday's election outright with 51.6% of the votes, beating former President John Dramani Mahama of the main opposition National Democratic Congress, who received 47.4%, the commission said.

More than 13.4 million people voted at more than 38,600 polling stations, making the turnout about 79%, Electoral Commission chief Jean Mensa said of the election, which has tested the West African nation’s credentials as one of the continent’s most politically stable countries.

Speaking after the declaration, Akufo-Addo said he was grateful to Ghanaians for the victory and was at the same time, “humbled by the confidence” he earned with their votes.

He promised to work hard to build a prosperous Ghana that the whole country yearns for, adding that this can be achieved only if “we all unite to join hands and stand shoulder to shoulder to put Ghana where it should be.”

The president said his initial work is to reverse the effects of COVID-19 and then rebuild the economy.

Most of the other candidates in the election congratulated Akufo-Addo, but Mahama had not yet spoken. This was the third time Akufo-Addo and Mahama faced off. Mahama won the 2012 elections, but lost in 2016 to Akufo-Addo.

Legislative results from Monday’s election hade ot yet been announced.

The streets of Accra, the capital, were filled with celebrations after the announcement.

Earlier Wednesday police said at least five people had been killed and at least a dozen injured in violence related to the presidential and legislative elections. Twenty-one violent outbreaks have been identified as election-related across the country, Ghana’s Police Service said Wednesday. It urged calm.