Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has won re-election with 51.59 percent of the vote, results from the election commission showed.

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo gestures at a polling station during presidential and parliamentary elections in Kyebi, Ghana, December 7, 2020.
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo gestures at a polling station during presidential and parliamentary elections in Kyebi, Ghana, December 7, 2020. (Reuters)

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has won a second term after a tightly contested presidential election, beating long-time opponent John Mahama.

Akufo-Addo of the centre-right New Patriotic Party (NPP) received 6,730,413 or 51.59 percent of votes while Mahama of the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC) received 6,214,889 or 47.36 percent of votes, the electoral commission's chairperson Jean Adukwei Mensa said on Wednesday.

Parliamentary results for the country's 275 constituencies are yet to be announced, but are expected to be very close.

Both parties are contesting some of the provisional results.

Mahama, 62, and Akufo-Addo, 76, are old rivals who have faced off at the ballot box twice before.

Mahama was president for four years until 2016, before being succeeded by Akufo-Addo. Both of those elections were determined by small margins.

Turnout 

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, turnout was high on Monday, with 13,434,574 people voting or 79 percent of registered voters, according to the electoral commission.

While the vote was largely peaceful, five people were killed in election-related violence, police said on Wednesday, casting a shadow over a country hailed for its stable democracy.

READ MORE: Several people dead in Ghana election violence as accusations fly

Ghana's economy

Akufo-Addo has promised to implement a $17 billion programme to boost Ghana's economy after the coronavirus pandemic hit the price of key oil and cocoa exports, resulting in the first quarterly contraction in nearly 40 years.

He will be under pressure to rein in government spending that has pushed the debt-to-GDP ratio past 70 percent and prompted warnings from the International Monetary Fund.

Ghana has had seven peaceful transitions of power since the return of democracy more than 30 years ago, and post-electoral grievances have always been pursued through the courts — a rarity in the troubled region.

READ MORE: Ghanaians head to the polls in presidential election, fear of violence

Source: TRTWorld and agencies