Prior to the elections, one conversation that dominated both traditional and social media discussions was the possible emergence of a third force.
The Ghana Union Movement’s (GUM), Reverend Christian Kwabena Andrews, also known as Osofo Kyiri Abosom, came third following the Electoral Commission’s declaration of the results on Wednesday.
He polled 105,565 votes, representing 0.805% of the 13,434,574 ballots cast which, despite being nowhere near the tallies obtained by President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo and runner-up John Dramani Mahama, was still greater than the remaining nine candidates.
While this may have validated some pre-election reports that placed GUM as the third strongest party going into the polls, Osofo Kyiri Abosom’s group did not actually poll the third-highest tally of votes in this year’s elections.
That honour goes to the rejected ballots whose numbers continue to astound, despite measures put in by the EC to address this problem.
This year, 313,397 ballots were rejected by the EC, totalling 2.333% of valid votes.
This tally is greater than the results of all the 10 “smaller” parties combined. Together, the nine other parties and the independent candidate polled 175,691 votes, representing 1.339%.
What’s Ghana’s history with rejected ballots?
1992 – 149,813 (3.6%)
1996 – 111,108 (1.53%)
2000 – 119,362 (1.8%)
2000 (run-off) – 104,214 (1.58%)
2004 – 188,123 – (2.13%)
2008 – 205,438 (2.4%)
2008 (run-off) – 92,886 (1.02%)
2012 – 251,720 – (2.24%)
2016 – 167,349 – (1.54%)
2020 – 313,397 – (2.333%)
Race for the Jubilee House
The battle at the top was, however, more keenly-contested with Nana Akufo-Addo’s 6,730,587 votes so far (51.302%) handing him re-election.
John Dramani Mahama’s 6,213,182, while creditable and a massive improvement on his performance in 2016, still fell short, totalling 47.359% of votes.
While the President-elect has commended the Electoral Commission for its work on the 2020 polls, the main opposition party and its leader have not been so complimentary.
The NDC has, in fact, rejected the results, describing the polls as flawed.