Ghana's interim President John Dramani Mahama has won a closely-contested presidential election.
Announcing the results on Sunday, the country's Election Commission said that Mahama had won 50.7 percent votes in Friday's election against the opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, who got 47.74 percent.
Mahama narrowly escaped a runoff, as anything less than 50 percent votes would have extended the election to a second-round voting.
The African Union, which monitored the election, has approved the outcome despite protest by the opposition New Patriotic Party, which accused the ruling National Democratic Congress party of conspiring with the electoral authorities to fix the poll.
During a victory speech, Mahama called upon leaders of all political parties to respect the voice of the people, which according to him "is the voice of God."
This is the second unsuccessful presidential bid of Akufo-Addo, the son of a former president. He lost in 2008 to John Atta Mills, whose death in July this year due to throat cancer led to Vice-President Mahama taking over as interim President.
Mahama was the Vice President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, and advocates large-scale investment in infrastructure.
A top exporter of cocoa and gold, Ghana is one of the world's fastest growing economies fueled partly by newly discovered oil.
The Western African country began pumping its first commercial oil in 2010, three years after American oil exploration company Kosmos Energy discovered Ghana's oil and gas reserve, estimated at 600 million barrels with an upside potential of 1.8 billion barrels.
Ghana is one of the few stable democracies in the African continent since its return to civilian rule in 1992.
by RTT Staff Writer
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