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Campaigning winds up in Ghana ahead of Monday election

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Deafening vuvuzelas and party songs took over Ghana’s capital Accra on Saturday, the final day of campaigning ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections.

Twelve candidates, including three women, are vying for the West African nation’s top job, but Monday’s vote is essentially a fight between President Nana Akufo-Addo, 76, and former head of state John Mahama. The city centre was plastered with billboards and posters and flags at every corner.

Akufo-Addo, running for a second term, drove through the shanty town of Nima, making whistle stops to acknowledge mammoth crowds clad in T-shirts of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP). “It’s a done deal. It’s clear. The crowd says it all. Four more (years) for Nana,” a party supporter, Dauda Faisal, told AFP.

Defying all COVID-19 protocols -– with just a handful wearing face masks — the ecstatic crowd waved miniature flags as the president headed towards the rally grounds where he was due to address supporters. Opposition leader John Mahama meanwhile kicked off his final day of campaigning by meeting local chiefs and labour union leaders, assuring them of more jobs if he won the December 7 election.

Mahama, 62, who has been campaigning hard for months, was expected later in the evening at a rally organised by his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC). More than 17 million people are registered to vote in the nation’s eighth poll since it returned to democracy nearly 30 years ago.

This is the third time that Akufo-Addo and Mahama are running against each other, and the race is expected to be very close. Results could be announced within 24 hours after the polls close.

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