Election observers from the Commonwealth secretariat in London have arrived in Ghana to monitor the presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December. The team will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure that the elections meet set standards of freedom and fairness in what is considered an important test for democracy in the entire west African region.

Candidates of seven parties and one independent are running for election as president of Ghana. The frontrunners are former attorney general, minister of justice and minister of foreign affairs Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and university law professor John Evans Atta Mills of the main opposition party National Democratic Congress (NDC). The winner will take over from John Kufuor, who is stepping down after two terms in office.

On 7 December citizens will also elect their 230 representatives to parliament. Nearly 13 million Ghanaians out of a total population of 23 million have registered to vote.

For election coverage see www.thinkghana.com/elections/2008/

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