Incumbent John Dramani Mahama of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) was sworn in as Ghana's president on 7 January, however the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) boycotted the event over its contention that Mahama won the 7 December election fraudulently.
Mahama's inauguration ceremony in Accra's Black Star Square was thronged with thousands of his supporters and was held in the presence of 12 African heads of state and representatives from the US, China and the UK. Mahama pledged to uphold the nation's constitution and, prior to taking office, he appealed to members of parliament to put their differences aside and work together.
Mahami won the December election by just over 300,000 votes, securing 50.7 per cent against the 47.7 per cent of his main rival Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP, according to Ghana’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC). The poll was hailed as "free and fair" by international election observers including the region's Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Ghana retained its reputation as a beacon of democracy in a politically-turbulent region.
However the NPP disputes some 1.34 million votes cast for Mahama and following the election the party took its claims of voter irregularity – involving the NDC and electoral commission staff – to the Supreme Court. The NPP believes that the disputed votes would be enough to swing the outcome in favour of Akufo-Addo, who lost the 2008 presidential election by one percentage point.
Mahama, who became the nation's president last July following the unexpected death of President John Atta Mills, has promised to improve economic growth, energy supplies and access to education over his four-year presidency.