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Vol 37 No 25

Published 13th December 1996


Ghana

Rawlings does it

Although it lost the presidency, the opposition alliance will be a real force in the new parliament

Jerry Rawlings has delivered the knockout blow he had promised for the 7 December presidential election (AC Vol 37 No 22), finishing some fifteen points ahead of his main rivals in the opposition Great Alliance, which put forward John A. Kufuor (New Patriotic Party) for the presidency with Kow Arkaah (People's Convention Party) as his running mate. Clever targeting of the rural areas, where 70 per cent of electors live, better organisation and more resources help to explain how, despite a more formidable opposition, Rawlings maintained much of his support, losing only three points since 1992, according to the provisional results. The country's new political geography shows Rawlings and his National Democratic Congress dominating the rural areas while the Great Alliance won all the towns, except for Bolgatanga and Wa (in the north) and Ho (in the east). In the parliamentary elections, also on 7 December, the NDC was nearing the two-thirds majority it needs to allow it to change the constitution at will, according to provisional results. Rawlings remains significantly more popular than his party.

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