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Ghana Presidential Election Underway

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Voting is under way in Ghana’s presidential election in what analysts say is a tight race between President John Mahama and veteran opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo.

All seven candidates have pledged to keep the process peaceful but an opposition supporter died when a rally tuned violent on Monday.

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

Results are expected within three days.

A run-off will be held later in the month if neither of the two main candidates secures more than 50% of the votes.

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. In addition to the reported death, six people are said to be in a critical condition as a result.

Defeat for Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, would make him the only single-term president since Ghana returned to multi-party democracy.

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

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

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

He has promised free high-school education and more factories, but his critics have questioned the viability of his ambitions.

Early voting had already taken place for people who would be on duty on Election Day proper.

Journalists, law enforcement personnel as well as officials of the electoral commission were allowed to cast their votes a day earlier, unlike what obtains in Nigeria where all the people involved in election duties are automatically disenfranchised.

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