Africa watches with envy at Ghana’s ‘boring’ presidential race

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Africa watches with envy at Ghana’s ‘boring’ presidential race

A relative lack of violence or vote-rigging marks contest out as rare example of democratic values

David Pilling

Little violence, no blatant vote-rigging and probably no surprises — Monday’s presidential poll in Ghana is shaping up to be the dullest election in Africa this year. But on a continent that many experts say has slipped into “democratic recession”, being uneventful marks Ghana out as a rare example where democratic principles are seen as holding steady.

“Here in Ghana, who wins, wins,” said Mavis Nai, a 23-year-old working in a snack bar in the country’s capital, Accra. Contrasting her Ghana’s electoral process with disputed polls in Africa and the recent US election, where Donald Trump has persisted with claims of vote-rigging, she said: “Nobody is like: ‘I’m not accepting it’. Anybody that wins accepts it. And anybody that loses accepts it.”

In Monday’s election the incumbent, Nana Akufo-Addo, of the centre-right New Patriotic Party, is seeking a second four-year term. He is expected to beat his opponent, John Mahama, a former president from the opposition National Democratic Congress, who held office from 2012 to January 2017...

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