Ghana's new president takes office
afrol News, 8 January - Ghanaian newly elected president, John Atta Mills was sworn into office following a slight victory in the runoff election. It was the closest election in the West African country's history with the new president having won with a margin of less than 1 percent of the vote.
The peaceful but tense election in Ghana marked the second time power in Ghana has been transferred from one legitimately elected leader to another, with political observers saying it proves that democracy has matured after an era of coups and dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s.
Ghana's new leader, who had lost two previous elections to John Kufuor, has pledged to be a president for all.
After the initial polls on 7 December, 2008, president Kufuor won the first round of elections but not with outright majority to avoid the run off. The run-off held on 28 December 2008 also failed to produce a clear winner, as the elections did not run in one of the constituencies.
Mr Atta Mills was finally declared the winner on Saturday after a re-run of voting in the rural constituency of Tain, which was boycotted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He was born on July 24, 1944 at Tarkwain the western region of Ghana and hails from Ekumfi Otuam in the Mfantsiman East constituency of the central region.
President Atta Mills had served previously as vice president under former coup leader Jerry Rawlings.
After ruling for 11 years, Mr Rawlings had organised elections and won two terms, then surprised the world by ceding power when his party's candidate lost to rival John Kufuor in the 2000 vote. Kufuor stepped down after two terms.
Ghana is now sailing up as Africa's model democracy, with the country harvesting economic and development gains from its positive image. The West African nation has increasingly been attracting foreign investments and is on good terms with all major donor nations. Poverty is however still rampant, according to reports, due to the misrule during the authoritarian regimes of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Ghanaians remain among the world's poorest people, a tenth of the adult population is unemployed and 40 percent are illiterate. It is the world's number 2 cocoa producer.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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