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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 December, 2004, 17:53 GMT
Ghana election diary: The long wait
The BBC's Kwaku Sakyi-Addo has been keeping a diary for Ghana's presidential polls and now reflects on the long wait for a result that already seems clear to most.

Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, BBC correspondent in Accra
Kwaku has been on the campaign trail for the BBC

This morning I got this text message from Georgette, The Chief of Staff, aka The Wife: "One more of these nites, and I wl get a room @ La Palm!"

La Palm is a four-star beach hotel.

I txt-replied promptly: "As long as you're checking in alone, I'm with you."

You can interpret that whichever way you choose.

But I haven't slept properly in four days.

If there's a run-off in this election, I'd rather dive and take a seat at the bottom of a very deep well than cover it.

With more than three-quarters of the votes counted, the president has 55%, and Mills 42%.

Now let's do some maths.

There are 10.3 million voters. The Electoral Commission estimates the voter turnout at 80%.

That gives us a little over eight million ballots.

At this point, Kufuor has already received in excess of 4.51 million votes.

So even if the voter turnout was 90%, and you tossed all the remaining ballots Mills' way, he can't win.

Moral election

But then again, you never know with politicians.

The hardliners and voodoo statisticians among them might well argue that one and one are eleven, and not two.

That's why the chairman of the electoral commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan, smokes three packs a day.

But I suspect Mills will make that phone call tonight.

That will top what's been a remarkable election.

This is the only election I know where voters held hands and prayed before they started voting.

Soldiers guard Ghana's Electoral Commission
Ghana is waiting for the Electoral Commission's final verdict
There's the story of one old woman who voted for all five parliamentary candidates in her village, because she knew all of them.

She was there when they were born. She saw them skipping by, barefooted, as they grew. They were all her children, she said.

You cannot bicker over the outcome of a poll like that.

There is a certain moral element about this election that promises trophies of equal value to winners and losers alike.

But it's getting late in the day now.

Quite frankly, I'd rather the Electoral Commission did their big press conference tomorrow at 10.

That way, I can go home early. And tonight won't be "one more of these nites".




SEE ALSO:
Is politics too personal?
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


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