Ghana’s longtime opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo won the presidency late Friday on his third run for the office, a race that was largely seen as a referendum on how the incumbent party had managed the economy in this long stable democracy.
State broadcaster Ghana Television (GTV) alerted that President John Mahama had conceded defeat in a telephone call that Akufo-Addo confirmed with a tweet.
“A few minutes ago, I received a call from President @JDMahama congratulating me on winning the 2016 Presidential Election,” he said.
The country’s election commission said Akufo-Addo received 53.8 percent of the vote, Mahama 44.4 percent.
Mahama became president in July 2012 after the sudden death of the incumbent leader and then was elected to the position later that year.
Before Wednesday’s election, the opposition had emphasized Ghana’s high unemployment levels and underperforming GDP growth rates to appeal to frustrated voters.
Mahama defended his record, hinging his campaign on plans to boost economic growth and continue modest gains in infrastructure development. A change in government, he said, would reverse the progress made during the last four years.
Elections in Ghana have been peaceful since the country transitioned from military rule to democracy in 1992.