/ 4 January 2008

Ghana braces for elections race

Ghana’s two largest political parties have vowed to battle it out for the December 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Ghana News Agency reported that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Party (NDC) had promised a ”tough showdown” for the vote in the country’s eastern region. The NPP holds 22 of the 28 parliamentary seats for the region but spokesperson Alecs Agobo said the party would not be complacent. The NDC previously held about 20 seats, but this dwindled to six, the news agency reported. There was speculation that it would be considering an alliance with a smaller party to boost its election chances, reported the Ghanaian Chronicle.

The NPP elected its candidate, Foreign Minister Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, just before Christmas. In previous presidential primaries, Akufo-Addo lost to incumbent John Kufuor. This time around he beat 17 other candidates to emerge the winner, according to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, with 47,9% of his party’s vote. NDC presidential candidate and tax law professor John Evans Atta Mills congratulated Akufo-Addo on the results.

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) candidate is Paa Kwesi Nduom, elected last year. ”My campaign will be devoid of insults and disrespect for opponents,” the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation quoted him as saying. The CPP was overthrown as the ruling party in 1966.

The People’s National Convention (PNC) candidate, Edward Nasigri Mahama, called for a coalition government to defuse tensions between the NDC and NPP, the Daily Graphic said.