Many Ghanaians yesterday received the news of the official results of the 2008 presidential election with mixed reaction.
Some residents of Accra jubilated on the hearing that the re was gong to be a run-off, but others were disappointed that they would have to endure another grueling electioneering in the next three weeks.
Still others were indifferent on hearing that there was going to be a run-off on December 28,2008.
The run-off, which was announced by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, in Accra, will be between Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party(NPP),who polled 4,159,439 votes representing 49.13 per cent of the total valid votes cast, and Professor John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Party (NDC) who polled 4,056,634 votes, representing 47.92 per cent.
Before the announcement, people were seen glued to their radio and television sets to hear the final declaration and after that there were pockets of jubilation whiles other remained calm.
A hairdresser at Adabraka,Ms Saint Claire Adotey,said she was not happy with the run-off, but she was quick to add that it was good for everyone to perform his or her civic duty as a patriotic citizen by voting on the new date.
She said she had hoped for negotiation to spare the country a second round but since that could not happen, she would go out on the day of the run-off and vote for her candidate.
Another lady who declined to mention her name said she was happy there was going to be a run.-off.
She said that would be the time for people to actually to take a bold decision to vote massively for their various parties to ensure that there was a clear winner.
Meanwhile ,business activities at the central business district o f Accra are picking up steadily, shaking off the election fever, that had engulfed the country, reports Gifty Bamfo.
A visit to some busy centers within the district ,including the CMB area and Makola, about 10.45a.m yesterday revealed that the usual brisk business activities were coming back, although at a slower pace, as a few hawkers;traders and buyers were seen shopping and interacting with one another.
Most of the hawkers and traders complained about the missing Christmas fever in the country, although they were hopeful that things would normalize when the election period was over.
They told the Daily Graphic that they were worried about the delay in announcing the election results which they believed had resulted in the low patronage of goods .
A tomato seller at CMB, who identified herself only as Georgina, said there was no sign of Christmas as the elections had overshadowed all activities pertaining to the festivities.
"My tomatoes are not being bought because the elections have created a lot of tensio0n which has made everyone to forget about Christmas,"she said.
Christmas in the country is often characterized by brisk shopping activities, particularly in the central business distrct of Accra,where both wholesale and retail trading takes place.
However, the uncertainties that come with elections often put people on the alert to want top pass the democratic test before looking elsewhwere. Ghana faced an arduous task to prove the maturity of it's democracy as many African countries, including neighboring Cote d'Ivoire,cast a slur on the ability of Sub-Saharan African countries to organize successful elections.
A toy shop owner,Mr Eben Zerobabel,lamented the slow pace of business, saying the market presented a boom the same period last year,with buyers beginning their shopping as early as December 1.
"This Year is different,"he said."The elections have halted many business activities in the country,"the toy vendor added.
A rice seller, known only as Arthur ,said there was low patronage ,despite Monday's Eid-ul-Adha Festival celebrated by Muslims, noting that on such occasions"Muslims buy a lot of rice bit this year was our rice is almost intact".
An onion seller, Mabel Sowah, said,"the elections have slowed the normal brisk business here at CMB. People are not buying onions, although we are in December,the time when I look forward to food vendors buying a lot of the onions."
Artificial wigs in Ghana are part of the fashion trends with different types and colours being introduced onto the markets for women to complement their beauty, particularly on festive occasions such as Christmas.
However, a visit to the market revealed there was low patronage of the products, as intimated by Auntie Bea, a wig shop owner.
"We are in December but all the wigs I bought for the Christmas festivities have not been bought yet I hope that after the elections everything will return to normal."
At the Makola market, the Atmosphere was no different, as most of the shops were opened, with hawkers and buyers going about their normal businesses.
The usual brisk business was on the low side, as most of the people were seen discussing election results.
Most of the people the Daily Graphic spoke with believed there was electoral tension.
Auntie Cecilia ,a lace material seller, said," Most of the people are afraid that there could be conflict in the country if one party refuses to accept the results of the elections and this has really affected our market, although Christmas is around the corner