Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has been re-elected after a close-fought race with his main rival, former president John Mahama, for power in the oil-rich West African producer.

Sign up for our new energy transition newsletter

Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here

Akufo-Add, of the ruling centre-right New Patriotic Party (NPP), secured 51.30% of the popular vote, according to results from Ghana's Electoral Commission.

Mahama, who leads the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the main opposition party, secured 47.36% of the vote, but has yet to concede defeat, with his party rejecting the results, citing alleged irregularities.

The result mirrored the country's 2016 election, when Akufo-Addo beat Mahama, the then-incumbent head of state, although last time around the vote was not as close, 53.6% to 47.8%.

The two men also contested the 2012 election, when Mahama secured 50.7% of the vote, against Akufo-Addo's 47.74%.

Violence

Five people have been killed in election violence since Monday when polling took place, marring what observers said was a well-organised vote.

Tensions remain, with supporters of Mahama's opposition party, the National Democratic Congress, protesting outside the electoral commission yesterday, alleging voting irregularities.

Mahama has accused Akufo-Addo of using the military to sway the outcome of the vote.

“You cannot use the military to try to overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won. We will resist any attempts to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghanaian people,” said the 62-year-old former president.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said these allegations of intimidation by soldiers were false.

Nkrumah also rejected Mahama’s claim that the NDC had won a majority of 140 seats in the 275-member parliament. However, this contest is also said to be very close.

Akufo Addo has pledged to put in place a $17 billion policy to boost an economy suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Al Jazeera, he will be under pressure to limit government spending that has pushed the debt-to-gross domestic product ratio past 70% and prompted warnings from the International Monetary Fund.