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Ghana Election: Old Rivals, Akufo-Addo, Mahama Face Off For Third Time Today

Ghana is agog today as the country goes to the polls to decide its 16th President.

Two long-time political adversaries will keenly contest the election.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, 76, a candidate for the New Patriotic Party, is seeking a second term against his predecessor John Mahama, 62, leader of the National Democratic Congress.

In 2012 and 2016, they had already competed for the highest office. Each narrowly won one of the two ballots. In 2016, Akufo-Addo won with only a margin of 9.45%, and he was sworn into office on January 7, 2017.

So Monday’s election looks like déjà vu, even though 11 other candidates, including three women, are in the running.

The contenders will have to convince Ghana’s 17 million voters, more than half of whom are under 35, who will also elect their 275 deputies.

According to the Africannews.com, unemployment, infrastructure and roads, education, and health are the main issues, according to pre-election surveys.

Since the early 2000s, this country, rich in gold, cocoa, and more recently, oil, has experienced substantial growth. And the rate of extreme poverty has been halved in less than 25 years.

For his part, Mr Mahama will have to make people forget the accusations of economic mismanagement that prevented his re-election in 2016.

This year, however, he can count on his running mate, Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, a former Minister of Education with a reputation for integrity and from the Centre, one of the critical regions to win the election.

In the polls, Mr. Akufo-Addo is ahead of Mr. Mahama, but many analysts predict that his party’s majority in Parliament could erode.

With the coronavirus – which has officially affected more than 50,000 people and killed 300 since March – election fever has not taken hold of the country.

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