President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo has been reelected for a four-year final term in office but with the possibility of governing with a hung parliament after the last declared seat in Sene West constituency went to the opposition NDC on Friday.
A hung parliament is a term used to describe the democratic scenario where the ruling party looses control of the parliamentary majority necessary to smoothly implement government programs and policies. An opposition party usually control a hung parliament.
With the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) having now won 137 seats, only the presence of 1 independent candidate breaks the tie and gives some hope to the re-elected President having a slim control over parliament.
The independent electoral commission of Ghana declared Akufo-Addo winner of the December 7 elections on Wednesday December 9 2020, putting him narrowly ahead of the NDC’s presidential candidate, former President John Mahama who has rejected the results and described it as “fraudulent”.
‘’We’ll resist any attempts to subvert the true will of the people’’, John Mahama told the press even before the electoral commission’s formal declaration.
He also recently called for an independent audit of the 2020 election results in order to put all parties at ease.
- ‘Dismembered bodies’: Refugees recount horrors of Tigray fighting
- President Rawlings; My final moment with him was amazing
- Gunmen kill dozens in bus attack in Ethiopia
- Tough start for Libya’s political forum as talks stall
Meanwhile, many observers have said that the opposition NDC’s insistence on a parliamentary majority and their resort to street protests gives a signal that the party may not have concrete evidence to back up their claims of a rigged election.
Local and international observer groups including the CODEO, EU, AU and ECOWAS have praised Ghana’s electoral commission and the Ghanaian people for conducting free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections in the midst of a global pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo indicated in his acceptance speech that he would work in his second term towards implementing a $17 billion program to boost growth in Ghana.
The country’s two main exports – cocoa and oil have seen a price dip on the world market due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and Ghana’s economy has already started to contract.
“Parliament tries to build consensus on about 90% of issues. The remaining 10% is what is going to be difficult,” Kwesi Jonah, a research fellow of the institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) said in reaction to the news of a possible hung parliament.
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, NDC director of elections, insisted last Friday that the party’s independent records give them at least 139 seats. The NDC is contesting several parliamentary seats in court.
Initially, the opposition party claimed it had won a majority of 140 seats in parliament.
Meanwhile, the one independently elected MP for Fomena who holds the deciding vote in Ghana’s newly elected parliament has publicly declared his willingness to sit in the ruling NPP side of the house.
Andrews Amoako Asiamah was an NPP member of parliament in the 7th parliament who decided to run as an independent after opting out of the ruling party’s parliamentary primaries.
Ghana’s 2020 elections witnessed isolated incidences of violence that killed at least five people in a country that has celebrated the most stable democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Street protests have also erupted from opposition supporters who are reacting to their candidate’s rejection of the official results.
Police and military have used water cannons to disperse demonstrators whom they accuse of breaching the public order Act.