Ghanaian polls to open after peace pact

By BBC

Polls are due to open in Ghana’s presidential election, after all seven candidates aligned behind a pledge to keep the process peaceful.

An opposition supporter died after a campaign rally turned violent, police confirmed on Tuesday.

The leading candidates are incumbent President John Mahama and former foreign minister Nana Akufo-Addo.

After polls close on Wednesday evening, official results are expected within three days.

The candidates signed a pact last week vowing to follow electoral rules and keep the peace.

But clashes broke out on Monday in Chereponi, a small northern town on the border with Togo.

Six people are said to be in a critical condition as a result.

The campaign has been dominated by the faltering state of Ghana’s economy and the issue of corruption.

Mr Akufo-Addo is hoping it will be third time lucky for him and the centre-right New Patriotic Party, after two failed attempts in running for the country’s top job.

President Mahama of the National Democratic Congress won in 2012, but he had already been sitting president for several months following the death of his predecessor, John Atta Mills.

President Mahama has been nicknamed “Mr Dumsor”, a local word that refers to the power cuts that have blighted the country during his term.

Mr Akufo-Addo has promise free high-school education and more factories, but his critics have questioned the viability of his ambitions.

  

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