Ghanaians will go to the polls on Monday in a heated contest that will revive old rivalries between incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo and his predecessor John Mahama.
Although 10 other candidates, including three women, are vying for the nation’s top job, the vote is a two-horse race between the two foes who will be slugging it out for the third time.
More than 17 million Ghanaians are registered to vote, half between the ages of 18 and 35, in the west African nation’s eighth consecutive poll since returning to democracy nearly 30 years ago.
The election is coming at a time of the coronavirus pandemic which has disrupted but hasn’t stopped campaigning by Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party and Mahama’s National Democratic Congress.
“There are party events and activity everywhere to drum up support, the airwaves are full of party songs, but we are not seeing mass rallies as usual,” Kojo Asante, director for advocacy and policy engagement at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, told AFP.
The virus — which has infected over 51,000 and killed more than 300 in Ghana since March — is not expected to deter voters and preventive measures such as hand sanitising stations near polling booths are planned.
The race is expected to be very close. Independent polls have predicted a slim win for the incumbent, while the NPP’s majority in the 275-member parliament is expected to drop.
In 2012, Mahama narrowly defeated Akufo-Addo with 50.7 percent of the vote and in 2016, Akufo-Addo beat Mahama with 53.8 percent of votes.