Ghanaians have narrowly voted-in John Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress as the country’s new President. But it was one of the closest elections in Africa – Mills emerged with 50.23 per cent of the vote, his rival Nana Akufo-Addo from the ruling New Patriotic Party won 49.77 per cent. The run-off had been so close that it all hinged on the last constituency to vote. In a country of 23.5 million people, just 53,000 in the constituency of Tain held sway.
Ghana’s political stability has helped attract foreign investment – most recently under the rule of the respected outgoing President John Kufuor. The closeness of the result has challenged that stability and raised tensions in a country which is due to start producing oil next year. There have already been claims of violence on both sides, though foreign observers say the election was mostly peaceful.