Africa

Ghanaians hope for free, fair and peaceful elections

Katy Scott, CNN

Updated 5:36 AM ET, Fri December 2, 2016
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Ghanaians will cast their votes on 7 December to decide who should lead their country for the next four years. Using technology, millennials are tracking election fraud to weed out corruption.

Pictured: A female voter casts her vote at Ayawaso West-Wagon Constituency polling station in Accra on December 8, 2012. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Pictured: NDC supporters attend a rally in Accra in December 2012 to cheer re-elected President Mahama as he accepts his mandate. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The election is expected to be tight between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the largest opposition, New Patriotic Party (NPP). Ghana's current president, John Dramani Mahama, in office since 2012, is seeking re-election.

Pictured: President Mahama takes an oath of office at Independence Square, in Accra, January 2013. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Mahama will be up against NPP candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is running for president for the third time, having run in 2008 and 2012.

Pictured: NPP supporters dance in the streets of Kasoa in December 2012. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images
According to the electoral commission, Mahama won the 2012 election with 50.70 percent of the votes cast, compared to opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo's 47.74 percent.

Picture here, a supporter of Ghana's largest opposition party New Patriotic Party (NPP) is seen at the party manifesto launch in Accra on October 9, 2016. Photo Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images.
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A large majority of Ghanaians (83%) believe the December 2016 polls will be "completely free and fair" or "free and fair with minor problems," according to Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).

Pictured: An NPP supporter dances on a car at the party manifesto launch in Accra in October 2016. Photo Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images.
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Ghanaians claim their vote choices would be influenced by a variety of policy and campaign issues, including bad roads, government corruption and national embarrassments. This is according to CDD-Ghana.

Pictured: A supporter of Ghana's largest opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), at the party manifesto launch in Accra on October 9, 2016. Photo Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images.
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In the pre-election survey conducted by CDD-Ghana, Ghanaians stressed that unemployment should be a key challenge for the 2016 election campaigns to address.

Pictured: NDC supporters carry a picture of President Mahama in Accra, December 2012. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
Just over half of Ghanaians believe political parties and/or candidates are likely to use violence in the upcoming elections.

Pictured: A soldier casts his ballot at a polling station as other voters wait in line, in Accra, on December 7, 2012, during national elections. Photo Chris Stein/AFP/Getty Images.
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Almost 70% of Ghanaians believe political parties and/or candidates are likely to engage in vote buying, according to CDD-Ghana.

Pictured: Supporters cheer President Mahama during a rally in Accra in December 2012. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
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President Mahama and Akufo Addo's 2016 campaigns featured specific promises to the regions they visited (such as creation of additional administrative regions and districts), according to CDD-Ghana.

Pictured: President Mahama's campaign billboard in the streets of Accra. Photo Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images.
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The 2012 elections were fraught with allegations of electoral irregularities and fraud, particularly with 'bloated voters' on the electoral register.

Pictured: A woman casts her vote at Maluwe, Bole Bamboi constituency in December 2012. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
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Eight in 10 Ghanaians believe the presence of armed security personnel at polling stations during the 2016 polls will make them feel more secure.

Pictured: An electoral officer checks the identity of a voter at the Bole polling station, in December 2012. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
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However, CDD-Ghana notes that a small majority of Ghanaians (51%) are convinced that political parties and/or candidates are likely to ignore electoral laws.

Pictured: An NPP supporter with number 5 painted on his body, referring to the position occupied by the party on the electoral roll, takes part in a prayer vigil in Koforidua on November 16, 2016. Photo Christina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty Images
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On average 66% of citizens in Ghana have voted in elections since independence in 1957.

Pictured: Worshipers in Accra celebrate Ghana's new President in January, 2009 - the late John Atta Mills. Photo Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
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