General elections will be held in Ghana on 7 December 2016 to elect a President and Members of Parliament. They had originally been scheduled for 7 November 2016, but the date was later rejected by Parliament.
“Despite the demonstration of our preparedness to deliver a credible and world-class elections on the proposed November 7 date, parliament in its wisdom has decided not to pass the amendment,” the electoral commission said in a statement. “The outcome of the voting therefore sets December 7, 2016 as the day for our presidential and parliamentary elections,” it added.
The electoral body said the change in date would not affect its “commitment to deliver a free, fair, transparent and credible elections this year”.
Proponents of the amendment believed an earlier vote would allow for enough time for any election disputes and possible presidential run-offs to be held before inauguration.
The president is elected using the two-round system, whilst the 275 members of Parliament will be elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting.
Voters must be Ghanaian citizens who are at least 18 years old, although those declared insane are disenfranchised. Parliamentary candidates must be Ghanaian citizens of at least 21 years old, and either be resident in their constituency or have lived there for at least five of the ten years prior to the election.
National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader President John Dramani Mahama is seeking a second, five-year term against Nana Akufo-Addo, of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Felix Dappah with agency reports