Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Run off?

Results posted at are close! With 228 of 230 constituencies counted, the ruling party NPP has 4,154,339 votes (49.05%) and the NDC has 4,061,434 (47.96%). But the rule is that only when a candidate has won 50% + 1 of the vote will they be declared the winner. If no party gains this majority, there will be a revote 21 days after the first election. It is looking likely that Ghananians will go back to the polls to recast their votes for President three days after Christmas.

The revote is an interesting rule in that it would prevent the kind of disgruntlement that happens in the U.S. where someone who has not won the popular vote takes the White House (and even rules like he has a broad mandate...ahem, 43). But it's a bit of a drag on national energy, enthusiasm, and economy to re-run the election. Most people seem to want to conclude the election neatly so they can relax into their Christmas holidays.

One notable outcome of the election results so far is that the opposition party, NDC, appears to have taken the majority in Parliament. If NPP takes the Presidency, I think this is the first time that Ghana will have different parties in the executive and the legislature. As one of my colleagues pointed out today, this is real progress in terms of democracy and the parties having to learn how to compromise and accommodate each other to get things done.


Trenton said...

The Ghanaians have done a good job of showing the world how democracy can work. I'm so pleased to hear that they are working out the results by way of a runoff election rather than the political bigwigs inciting unrest as a bargaining chip. Ghana has certainly become a beacon of hope for democracy in West Africa and across the continent.

It seems like instant runoff voting would not be possible with the ballots you described. A separate election is not desirable, but at least it is working mechanism to determine the true mandate of the people.

susannah said...

hey leah! Saw this in my global post inbox--and thought of you all out there.