Ghana opposition leader says “quietly confident” of election victory

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Ghanaian presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo (2nd L) of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) talks after casting his vote at a polling station in his village, also considered his stronghold, Kibi, in the eastern region of Ghana December 7, 2016. REUTERS/Luc Gnago
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ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo said on Thursday he was “quietly confident” he had defeated President John Mahama in a Dec. 7 election and said his New Patriotic Party (NPP) had also taken a majority of seats in parliament.

The electoral commission is yet to release results from Wednesday’s vote but the opposition said it had tabulated results from constituencies and based its confidence on those figures.

Ghana is a beacon of democracy in Africa and holds closely fought and peaceful elections. Twice since 2000 voters have kicked out the government of the day.

“We in the NPP are quietly confident that we have won a famous and historic victory,” Akufo-Addo told hundreds of supporters who danced and sang in the garden of his house in the capital.

He also said the NPP had gained 49 seats and would therefore control the legislature but he called for calm and urged patience to allow the electoral commission time to deliver results.

Mahama is running for a second and final term in office against a backdrop of an economy that has slowed since he took office in 2013, in part because of a slump in global prices for its exports of gold, cocoa and oil.

Akufo-Addo’s statement was the first by a major party leader since the election and reflects opposition belief that after eight years in the wilderness it has won back power.

A senior official in the ruling National Democratic Congress earlier told Reuters the party may have lost its parliamentary majority. Koku Anyidoho later told a news conference the party was ahead in the presidential vote, according to its own partial count.

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(Reporting by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Joe Bavier and Toby Chopra)

 

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