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No result yet in Ghana elections

There will be no final result in Ghana's tense runoff presidential election until Jan 2, when the country's 230th constituency votes.

Electoral officers count the ballots at an Accra polling station after the presidential elections.
Electoral officers count the ballots at an Accra polling station after the presidential elections.

There will be no final result for Ghana's runoff presidential election until at least Friday, Jan 2, when the country's 230th constituency Tain, which was unable to vote on Sunday, casts its ballots, the electoral commission said today. "As of now Professor Atta-Mills is in the lead," commission head Kwado Afari-Gyan told reporters, referring to the opposition party candidate. "The results of the Tain election could make a difference," he added. Local media have predicted victory for opposition candidate John Atta Mills. Police fired shots into the air late yesterday to disperse hundreds of Mr Mills' supporters who besieged the electoral commission in Accra after it announced provisional results showing their candidate was ahead of his rival Nana Akufo-Addo.

The protesters, chanting "We want change", demanded that the commission declare Mr Mills, the candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), the winner of Sunday's run-off vote. Electoral commission chief Kwadwo Afari-Gyan is scheduled to give a news conference at 1200 GMT today on the run-off, which followed an inconclusive Dec 7 first round.

Provisional results released so far by the commission, with votes counted from 200 of the country's 230 constituencies, show the NDC's Mr Mills leading with 52.1 per cent against 47.9 per cent for Mr Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Eurasia Group risk consultancy, in a briefing note by Africa analyst Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, called Mr Mills' lead "tight but insurmountable" and predicted he would be a "narrow electoral winner without a strong governing mandate".

Mr Akufo-Addo's NPP, the ruling party of the outgoing president, John Kufuor, has denounced a prediction made by Ghana's leading private independent broadcaster Joy FM, which had collated certified results from polling stations, that Mr Mills would win. The NPP chairman, Peter Mac Manu, condemned the Joy FM projection as "highly speculative and premature" and said his party would challenge what it considered flawed results from some regions.

In a news conference yesterday, Mr Mills predicted he would win but urged his supporters to stay calm. In the first round, Mr Akufo-Addo finished with just over 49 per cent, more than one percentage point ahead of Mr Mills, but he failed to gain the more than 50 per cent of votes needed to win. * AFP and Reuters