John Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has formally been declared the winner of the Ghana presidential elections. In a close run-off for the presidency Mills won by 50.23 per cent of the vote compared to that of his rival Nana Akufo-Addo from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) with 49.77 per cent of the vote. Mills won 4,521,032 votes compared to 4,480,446 for Akufo-Addo. In the first round of voting on 7 December Akufo-Addo was slightly ahead of his rival Mills but without the necessary 50 per cent plus one vote needed to win.

The winner was finally declared on 3 January by the head of the electoral commission after the results from the constituency of Tain, in the country’s central farming region, were counted. Balloting in Tain was postponed from 27 December to 2 January because of organisational problems.

The new president-elect is an international tax lawyer and has a PhD from the London School of Oriental and African Studies. He became vice president in 1997 under the controversial Jerry Rawlings. His association with Rawlings, the one-time military head of state who then won two successive democratic elections to the presidency in 1992 and 1996, may have cost Mills his two pervious attempts at the presidency in 2000 and 2004.

Mills, who succeeds John Kufuor of the NPP as president, will be sworn into office on 7 January.

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