It appears that John Atta Mills has been elected President of Ghana. Although the result will not be declared until tomorrow, it now appears in practice impossible for Nana Akuffo Addo to close the gap.
There remain a number of concerns about the count which puzzle and worry me. In particular the swing ti Mills in the final fifteen constituencies to declare appears to be three times the average swing over the rest of the country. Constitutencies which together delivered a net majority to Nana Akuffo Addo of over 150,000 in the first round have yielded him a majority of only about 40,000 in the second round. Looking at each in turn and the swings in the surrounding constituencies, there is no readily available explanation that occurs to me. For example Bantama and Kumawu in Ashanti region, both in the final batch of results, showed substantial falls in Nana Akuffo Addo’s vote whereas all the other seats in Ashanti Region had shown a sufficient increase. Beyond doubt the last twenty constituencies to declare have been much better for Atta Mills than any rational amalysis would lead you to predict.
However I understand that the Electoral Commissioner, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, is inclined to accept the result as genuine. He was personally out and about during voting in some of the Volta constituencies which particularly concerned me earlier.
I would trust Kwadwo Afari-Gyan with my life. I personally witnessed him, just the two of us in the early hours of the morning, refuse to budge when soldiers held his wife and children at gunpoint and threatened them unless he falsified the result of the 2000 election. If Kwadwo accepts the result, so will I, and I urge Ghanaians to do so too.
Alternation of power is a healthy feature of democracy, and Mills is a good man. But the elephant in the room is the ex-dictator, multiple murderer and half (at least) mad Jerry Rawlings. Does he still control his protege Mills? We have no choice but to wait to find out.