Voters in Ghana continue to wait for the a nail-biting presidential election, with no clear favorite emerging from the early provisional results.
The high-stakes race between incumbent John Mahama and rival Nana Akufo-Addo is seen as a litmus test of stability for one of Africa’s most secure democracies.
Results will trickle in over the day, with the final winner expected to be announced at the earliest late Thursday.
Initial provisional results released by Ghana’s election agency showed neither candidate gaining the upper hand.
Early Thursday, the Electoral Commission website was down but it tweeted the provisional results of six of the 275 constituencies, with Mahama scoring 62,930 votes and Akufo-Addo 62,220.
Election fever gripped Ghana’s capital Accra, with people out in the streets late into the night as counting of the thumbprint votes got under way, many standing behind red police lines and closely observing the blue-shirted election officials.
The charismatic Mahama, 58, is running for a 2nd and final term. He has urged voters to “stay the course”, promising to deliver more infrastructure projects.
Akufo-Addo, 72, is making his 3rd and likely last bid for highest office. He has blasted Ghana’s poor economic growth estimated at 3.3 percent in 2016 – the slowest rate in 2 decades – and outlined how to get the economy back on track.