Ghana Election Goes to a Runoff

Neither of top two candidates secured requisite 50%; next vote is Dec. 28
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2008 2:28 PM CST
Opposition presidential candidate John Atta Mills, second from left, urges supporters to wait for election results and then accept them peacefully, during an impromptu talk Monday, Dec. 8, 2008.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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(Newser) – Voters in Ghana will have to go to the polls again to decide their next president, as neither major candidate received the 50% in Sunday’s election. Governing-party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo scored 49.13%, with key opposition leader John Atta Mills pulling in a close 47.92%. The next vote was scheduled for Dec. 28; observers praised the first round as peaceful, the BBC reports.

With nearly 70% voter turnout, Ghana’s fifth set of democratic elections went smoothly, a fact organizers hailed as proving Africa can hold elections devoid of violence. But more than 200,000 ballots were rejected, comprising a greater percentage of the vote than that received by the third-place candidate.