2012 Ghanaian general election

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2012 Ghanaian general election

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  John Dramani Mahama 2014 (cropped).jpg Nana Akufo-Addo at European Development Days 2017.jpg
Nominee John Mahama Nana Akufo-Addo
Popular vote 5,574,761 5,248,898
Percentage 50.7% 47.7%

2012 Ghanaian presidential election (percentage by region).svg
Map of the presidential results.

President before election

John Dramani Mahama


John Dramani Mahama

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General elections were held in Ghana on Friday 7 December 2012 to elect a president and members of Parliament in 275 electoral constituencies.[1] Owing to the breakdown of some biometric verification machines, some voters could not vote, and voting was extended to Saturday 8 December 2012.[2] A run-off was scheduled for 28 December 2012 if no presidential candidate received an absolute majority of 50% plus one vote. Competing for presidency were incumbent president John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), his main challenger Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and six other candidates.[3]

Incumbent president John Mahama was declared winner of the presidential contest with 50.7% of the vote, just a few thousand votes over the threshold for avoiding a run-off election. Nana Akufo-Addo received 47.74%.[4] The opposition alleged tampering with results by the Electoral Commission (EC),[5] and filed a petition at the Ghanaian Supreme Court to review the election results. The NPP produced more than 11,000 so-called "pink sheets" to the judges who had to compare them to similar papers from the EC, NDC and possibly other parties. These pink sheets state the results as counted in single polling stations, before aggregating them to any higher level, such as municipality, district and region. The NPP claimed that there were differences between the results as stated immediately after their counting in polling stations, and those which were used in aggregations, and that this can be proven by the pink sheets. In a separate part of the procedure, the EC was challenged to prove that 14,000 expat Ghanaians had voted abroad, and failed to produce any registered voters in foreign countries due to, so EC, the fatal work of a virus in its computer.

Mahama was re-elected after less than five months as president having succeeded John Atta Mills who died suddenly in office in July 2012.[6]


Biometric voters registration[edit]

The Electoral Commission of Ghana successfully held a biometric system of registration for the electorate from 24 March 2012 to 5 May 2012. The move was aimed to prevent double registration and to eliminate ghost names in the old register.[7][8][9]

Electoral demarcations[edit]

Controversially, 45 additional constituencies were added to the 230 of the 2008 general election.[10] Voting therefore took place in a total of 275 constituencies and 26002 polling stations.


The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) trained election observers and deployed 4000 of them to monitor the elections nationwide.[11][12]

Observers from ECOWAS Observer Mission led by former Nigerian president, General Olusegun Obasanjo also monitored the elections. The mission noted the technical glitches caused by faulty biometric machines but added that it had not undermined the fairness and transparency of the election.[13]

Pre-election controversy[edit]

There have been accusations against the media for not covering the election in a fair manner after a media have projected that the main opposition.[14]

Following the death of incumbent President John Atta Mills amid concerns for the election, leader of the Electoral Commission of Ghana Kwadwo Afari-Gyan said that "the election calendar remains unchanged—it's purely a party matter" and the National Democratic Congress had to decide whom to nominate as its new candidate.[6]

The main talking point following the close of nominations was the disqualification of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, leader of the newly formed National Democratic Party. This was due to errors in the documentation presented to the Electoral Commission.[15]

Presidential candidates[edit]

Eight candidates were on the ballot.[3]

Party Candidate Name Religion Date of Birth Hometown and Region Highest Educational Qualification Institution Present or Last Employer Position Profession Marital Status
People's National Convention Hassan Ayariga Muslim 4 September 1972 Bawku, Upper East Region Ex. Masters in Governance and Leadership Graduate School of Governance and Leadership Clean Up Ghana Managing Director Accountancy Married
National Democratic Congress John Dramani Mahama Christian 29 November 1958 Bole, Northern Region Post Graduate Degree University of Ghana Government of Ghana President of the Republic of Ghana Communications/Media Married
Progressive People's Party Papa Kwesi Nduom Catholic 15 February 1953 Elmina, Central Region PHD University of Wisconsin First National Savings and Loans Company CEO Management Consultant Married
New Patriotic Party Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Christian 29 March 1944 Kyebi, Eastern Region Bsc. Econ University of Ghana Government of Ghana Minister for Foreign Affairs Legal Practitioner Married
Convention People's Party Michael Abu Sakara Foster Christian 15 August 1958 Mankuna, Northern Region Doctor of Philosophy University of Reading Unknown Executive Director Agronomist Married
United Front Party Akwasi Addai Odike Christian 13 September 1964 Adwumakase Kese, Ashanti Region 'O' Level Aduman Secondary School Odike Ventures CEO Businessman Married
Independent Candidate Jacob Osei Yeboah Christian 28 October 1968 Atonsu, Nsuta, Ashanti Region MBA University of Warwick Vital Source Limited Director for West Africa Engineering Consultant Married
Great Consolidated Popular Party Henry Herbert Lartey Christian 5 February 1954 Osu, Greater Accra Region MBA Economics and Finance University of Bath Unknown Executive Director Finance, Agriculture And International Trade Single

Running mates[edit]

The following eight candidates have been approved by their parties and the Electoral Commission of Ghana as running mates of the above listed presidential candidates for the election on 7 December 2012.[16]

Party Candidate Name Sex Profession
People's National Convention Helen Sanorita Dzatugbe Matrevi F Bilingual Translator
National Democratic Congress Kwesi Amissah-Arthur M Economist
Progressive People's Party Eva Lokko F CEO
New Patriotic Party Mahamudu Bawumia M Economist
Convention People's Party Nana Akosua Frimpomaa F Social Activist
United Front Party Fred Osei Agyen M Agriculturist
Independent Candidate Kelvin Nii Tackie M Business Executive
Great Consolidated Popular Party John Amekah M Retired Educationist



Candidate Party Votes %
John Dramani Mahama National Democratic Congress 5,574,761 50.70
Nana Akufo-Addo New Patriotic Party 5,248,898 47.74
Paa Kwesi Nduom Progressive People's Party 64,362 0.59
Henry Herbert Lartey Great Consolidated Popular Party 38,223 0.35
Ayariga Hassan People's National Convention 24,617 0.22
Michael Abu Sakara Foster Convention People's Party 20,323 0.18
Jacob Osei Yeboah Independent 15,201 0.14
Akwasi Addai Odike United Front Party 8,877 0.08
Invalid/blank votes 251,720
Total 11,246,982 100
Registered voters/turnout 14,158,890 79.43
Source: Electoral Commission of Ghana


Party Votes % Seats +/–
New Patriotic Party 5,248,862 47.51 123 +16
National Democratic Congress 5,127,671 46.41 148 +32
Progressive People's Party 182,649 1.65 0 0
Convention People's Party 81,009 0.73 1 0
People's National Convention 72,618 0.66 1 –1
National Democratic Party 33,857 0.31 0 0
Inter-Party Cooperation 15,561 0.14 0 0
United Front Party 3,322 0.03 0 0
Democratic People's Party 3,013 0.03 0 0
New Vision Party 1,232 0.01 0 0
United Renaissance Party 840 0.01 0 0
Independent People's Party 679 0.01 0 0
Great Consolidated Popular Party 653 0.01 0 0
Yes People's Party 145 0.00 0 0
United Renaissance Party 140 0.00 0 0
Ghana Freedom Party 77 0.00 0 0
Independents 275,781 2.50 3 –1
Invalid/blank votes 178,243
Total 11,226,352 100 275 +45
Registered voters/turnout 15,031,680 80.01
Source: Electoral Commission of Ghana


The non-partisan Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) all declared that the elections were, for the most part, free and fair.[17] Despite this, there were still widespread allegations of voting irregularities, though these were dismissed as unsubstantiated by the electoral commission chairman. As a result of these claims, the New Patriotic Party immediately rejected the results upon their release[17] and its candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, remarked that his party's leaders would be meeting on 11 December to consider their options, one of which is to contest the results by lodging an appeal in court.[18] Violent opposition was however ruled out.[17]

African Union commission chairman Thomas Yayi flew to Ghana to meet with the two men.[17] He was also reported to have congratulated Mahama on his victory, and charged him to preside over an all-inclusive government.[19] Yayi praised the conduct and the participants of the election.[19]

In anticipation of petitions regarding the election, Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood has established two public complaints secretariats to swiftly process such concerns.[20]

In a statement after being declared the victor, Mahama gave a reconciliatory message, saying "I wish to welcome my fellow candidates to join me now as partners in the project of nation building and of creating a better Ghana".[21]

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ "Regional Distribution of 275 Constituencies". Electoral Commission of Ghana. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Ghana election: Voting enters second day". BBC. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Profile of 2012 Presidential Candidates". Official website. Electoral Commission of Ghana. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Ghana election: John Mahama declared winner". BBC News. 10 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Ghana's Mahama wins election, opposition cries foul". Reuters. 9 December 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Ghana swears in Mahama as new president". Al Jazeera. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Pre-election in Ghana". Ajazeera. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Compilation of Biometric Register Begins March 24". General news. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Ghana Think". Ghana Think. Archived from the original on 6 September 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Controversy Over the Creation OF 45 New Constituencies". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  11. ^ "CODEO to deploy observers for 2012 elections". Ghana Business News. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  12. ^ "CODEO Ready To Observe Election 2012". Ghana Web. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Electoral Challenges Has Not Undermined Election Process—Obasanjo Observes". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Ghana: John Mahama declared election winner". The Daily Telegraph. London. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Nana Konadu's Presidential dream crashed". General news. Ghana Home Page. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Profile of 2012 Presidential Candidates". Official website. Electoral Commission of Ghana. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  17. ^ a b c d "Ghana election: NPP considers challenge to John Mahama win". BBC News. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  18. ^ Felix, Bate (10 December 2012). "Ghana opposition contender might challenge election results". Reuters. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  19. ^ a b Essel, Issac (10 December 2012). "Update: AU chairman to meet Nana Akufo-Addo, after meeting Mahama". Joy Online. Archived from the original on 11 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Ghana's Judiciary sets up complaint secretariats for post elections petitions". Ghana Business News. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Leave behind era of pettiness, intolerance and negativity – Mahama urges". Ghana Web. 10 December 2012. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.