Ghana’s incumbent President, Nana Akufo-Addo has once again beaten main rival John Mahama to score a second term in office.
Akufo-Addo, who contested as the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) presidential candidate, won the election after polling 51.59 of the total votes cast.
His main rival, Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also managed to poll 47.36% of the total votes cast.
Per the votes polled by both men, Akufo-Addo won the election with 6,730,413 valid votes while Mahama got 6,214,889 valid votes.
This is the second time that Akufo-Addo has beaten Mahama to the Presidency after emerging victorious in the 2016 elections with an almost one million gap.
Akufo-Addo’s rise to Presidency
Akufo-Addo has always been involved in politics from a very young age but formally entered the fray in the late 1970s when he joined the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ).
The PMFJ was an organisation formed to oppose proposals of the General Acheampong-led Supreme Military Council’s Union Government.
Akufo-Addo’s place in Ghana’s political history is mostly remembered for his role in the formation of the Alliance for Change aka “Kumepreko”.
“Kumepreko” was an alliance that led demonstrations and protests against neo-liberal policies such as the introduction of Value Added Tax and human rights violations under the Jerry John Rawlings administration.
Akufo-Addo moved on to establish a civil rights group known as Ghana’s Committee on Human and People’s Rights in the early 1990s.
His political career also saw him become a Member of Parliament in the Third Republic, representing the Abuakwa Constituency.
Akufo-Addo first attempt at the Presidency came in 1998 when he competed for the presidential candidacy of the NPP. However, he lost to John Agyekum Kufuor, who subsequently emerged winner of the 2000 presidential election and assumed office as President of Ghana.
Akufo-Addo was a prominent member of the Kufuor government and even served as Attorney General and Minister for Justice. He was later moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After serving for two terms, Kufuor was succeeded by Akufo-Addo as presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party.
He subsequently represented NPP in a closely contested election against the NDC’s John Atta Mills in the 2008 presidential election. In the first round of voting, Akufo-Addo polled 49.13%, leading Atta Mills with a slim margin that was below the constitutional threshold of 50% + 1 to become the outright winner. But he lost to Atta Mills following a runoff.
Akufo-Addo ran again as the NPP’s presidential candidate in the 2012 elections against NDC’s John Mahama, who succeeded his boss Atta Mills who sadly passed away in July that year.
Mahama won the election but the outcome was legally challenged by Akufo-Addo and the NPP in court. The court case generated considerable controversy, and was finally decided by the Ghana Supreme Court in a narrow 5/4 decision in favour of Mahama. Akufo-Addo accepted the verdict and pledged not to further protest.
Akufo-Addo made a third attempt to become Ghana’s president ahead of the 2016 election. In the NPP primary conducted in October 2014, he was declared victor with 94.35% of the votes.
Third time lucky, Akufo-Addo won the December 7 election with 53.83% of the votes against Mahama’s 44.4%, becoming the first man to unseat a sitting President in the Fourth Republic.
Akufo-Addo’s latest victory in the 2020 presidential election means he will now end his tenure as the oldest president in Ghana’s history.
Source: Pulse Ghana.