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Last Updated: Friday, 10 December, 2004, 15:11 GMT
Ghana's 'gentle giant' re-elected
Mr Kufour's supporters celebrating
Kufour's team will now focus on fighting poverty
Ghanaian President John Kufuor has secured a second four-year term, the election commission chairman says.

Mr Kufuor, known as the "gentle giant", won 52.75% of the vote in Tuesday's presidential poll, sparking street parties in the capital, Accra.

His main rival, opposition leader John Atta Mills, gained 44.32% of the vote.

Observers have praised the conduct of the election, which attracted a high turnout of 83.2%, however, the opposition has lodged complaints.

Results from five districts are still expected, but they will not change the overall outcome, Election Commission chairman Kwadwo Afari-Djan said.

"I declare President Kufuor new president of the Ghana republic," he said.

His New Patriotic Party has also gained a majority in parliament, with 129 out of 230 seats.

'Work harder'

The BBC's Kwaku Sakyi-Addo in Accra says that thousands of people poured onto the streets to celebrate Mr Kufuor's re-election, wearing the red, white and blue colours of his party and shouting his name.

Presidential poll:
John Kufuor: 52.75%
John Atta Mills: 44.32%
Edward Mahama: 1.9%
George Aggudey: 1%
NPP: 129 seats
NDC: 88 seats
CPP: 4 seats
PNC: 3 seats
Independents: 1 seat
Five seats to be declared

The president's press secretary Kwabena Agyepong told the BBC that he had expected a bigger margin of victory and he would use his second term to try and improve living standards for Ghana's poor.

"We need to work much harder to bring the fruits of economic progress to the people of Ghana," he said.

Mr Atta Mills' National Democratic Congress (NDC) has complained about the high number of spoilt and rejected ballot papers - 2% - and has alleged that in Mr Kufuor's stronghold of the central Ashanti region, the number of votes cast was higher than the number of registered voters.

However, the electoral commission has rejected both complaints.

Peaceful poll

Mr Kufuor defeated Mr Atta Mills four years ago, in an election that marked the country's first peaceful and democratic transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1957.

The presidential election is the fourth since Ghana became a multi-party state in 1992.

Queue to vote
The election was praised for being calm and orderly
The two other presidential candidates got less than 2% of votes cast.

Edward Mahama, candidate of the Grand Coalition of opposition parties, including the People's National Convention (PNC) polled 1.9%.

George Aggudey, of the Convention People's Party (CPP) founded by Ghana's first leader Kwame Nkrumah, received 1%.

The BBC's Andrew Simmons in Accra says Mr Kufuor's supporters voted for stability, even though daily costs such as school fees, petrol prices and consumer goods are making their lives difficult.

The president has drastically reduced inflation and borrowing costs, and assured people during the campaign that prices and wages would improve.

Mr Atta Mills focused on the major issue of poverty.

He assured poor people, who make up 40% of the country's 20 million population, that under his rule they would see more money in their pockets.

But the BBC's reporter says it appears that his tactics have failed to undermine Mr Kufuor's economic reforms.

The majority of people trust him, our reporter says, although in the longer term they will want to see some personal gain in return.

Peoples Daily Online Kufuor wins Ghana's presidential election - 1 hr ago
Business in Africa President Kufuor swings to victory - 8 hrs ago
Reuters UK Ghana's president wins second term - 10 hrs ago
Reuters Ghana's President Wins Four More Years in Office - 11 hrs ago
ABCNEWS.com Kufuor Gets Re-Elected As Ghana President - 12 hrs ago
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Profile: Ghana's 'gentle giant'
10 Dec 04 |  Africa
Q&A: Ghana votes
03 Dec 04 |  Africa
Ghana's grudge match
28 Sep 04 |  Africa
Taking the pulse of Ghana
18 Oct 04 |  Africa
Country profile: Ghana
17 Jul 04 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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