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Carter Center Congratulates Ghana President-Elect John Evans Atta Mills


CONTACT: John Marsh

In Accra + 233 (0) 24 118 7582

ACCRA...The Carter Center congratulates Ghana President-elect John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress following the Electoral Commission of Ghana's Jan. 3 announcement of final election results. The Center also commends New Patriotic Party candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his acceptance of the results in an extremely competitive race.

The Carter Center acknowledges the efforts of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, including commission chair Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, and both presidential candidates for steering Ghana's election process to a clear and definitive result in such a hard-fought campaign. With an overall voter turnout of 72.9 percent, Mills garnered 4,521,032 votes, for 50.2 percent of the total, against Akufo-Addo's 4,480,446 votes, for 49.8 percent.

Because the results of the Dec. 28 run-off election were so close, election authorities were obliged to conduct the elections in the Brong-Ahafo constituency of Tain on Jan. 2 to determine the overall winner of the presidential election. The Tain election was delayed as a result of a dispute over the distribution of ballot papers on Dec. 28.  Read the Dec. 31, 2008 Carter Center press release.

Carter Center observers visited more than 60 of the 144 polling stations in Tain constituency and rated nearly every station as good or very good. Poll openings were delayed in many instances because of late delivery of materials or presiding officers who waited for NPP representatives to arrive. The voter identification check list was the most frequently absent material, which was a result of the earlier arson burning of the EC district office in Tain.

The NPP decision not to deploy party agents meant only the NDC candidate had representatives at the polls. Carter Center observers found in most cases there were more than the maximum of two NDC agents present with many individuals claiming to be NDC observers. Domestic observers from CODEO, CENCOR, and other organizations were found to be present at every station visited. The additional presence of a significant number of international observers and a robust security presence contributed to the overall transparency of the polling procedures.

Voter turnout was relatively low but polling and counting procedures were implemented properly, despite the absence of NPP party agents. Furthermore, the collation of polling station results was conducted in full view of party agents and observers and was broadcast live by the media.

In recent days the two presidential campaigns have continued to air publicly complaints about aspects of the Dec. 28 polls. The NDC raised questions about the credibility of results from the Ashanti region, and NPP alleged that their party agents were intimidated or chased away in Volta region.

The NPP submitted, but subsequently withdrew, a Superior Court application to restrain the declaration of final results without a rerun of the Volta region election and suspension of the Tain election. Evidence of any serious complaints deserve consideration and should be submitted to the proper procedure for the examination of election petitions and/or criminal investigations.

The Carter Center will maintain a post-election observer presence in Ghana and will issue an overall report on the election process.


The Carter Center conducts election observation in accordance with the Declaration of Principles of International Election Observation and Code of Conduct for International Election Observation adopted at the United Nations in 2005.

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. Visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

Read the Ghana Run-off Election Observation Mission Preliminary Statement >>

Read the Dec. 30, 2008 Press Release >>

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