Minutes after the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, announced the final presidential results of the December 7 presidential polls, representatives of both the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) declared their preparedness for the second round of balloting.
As per the results announced by Dr. Afari-Djan, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP had 4,159,439 votes representing 49.13 per cent of total votes cast followed by Professor John Evans Atta Mills of the NDC who polled 4,056,634 representing 47.92 per cent.
According to Dr. Afari-Djan the two top candidates would participate in a second round of elections within 21 days, adding that the EC had decided on Sunday December 28, 2008 for the second round.
Representatives of the two parties have been speaking about their chances in the second round.
Mr. Kwabena Adjapong, a leading member of the NPP said the party was more than prepared for the second round, adding that, they would start rolling out their elaborate campaign plan for the coming two weeks soon.
He noted that the results indicated a clear 103,000 lead for Nana Addo, adding that was a clear indication that President Kufuor's people centred policies and Nana Addo free secondary education policy were really flying.
Mr. Mustapha Hamid, spokesperson of the Nana Addo campaign team said he was the obvious choice of the people and that it was just a matter of time that he would be declared the president of Ghana.
"It doesn't matter to us if Nana Addo had to be declared president elect at the end of the second round, what matter to us is that on January seven he will be sworn in as president," he said.
Mr. Hamid also noted that the Rawlings factor would work against the NDC in the second round, saying that lots of Ghanaians still dreaded the possibility of "a Rawlings rule" if Prof. Mills became president. Squadron Leader Gled Sowu, a leading member of the NDC brushed off
Mr. Hamid's claim that NDC had no more votes to mop up, saying that the results of the first round was a clear sign the Ghanaians needed change but could not make up their minds in just one round.
"This is history repeating itself - last eight years Ghanaians wanted change and it took them two rounds to make up their minds and the NDC lost - this time the NPP is in power and so they should prepare for defeat in the second round," he said.
Dr. Kwabena Adjei, National Chairman of the NDC also said the NDC might have lost the elections in 2000 because of the baggage of incumbency so the NPP should also prepare to lose elections because of the baggage of incumbency.
He used the opportunity to urge other African countries to learn from Ghana's example, saying that Ghana was able to achieve a successful and peaceful election with limited resources because of the vigilance of its people and the commitment of political parties to democracy.
Dr. Adjei said it was instructive for other African countries to note that it did not pay to wait and start preparing for elections six months to time, else incidence like what occurred in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria could not be avoided.
"At some point there was a threat to our democracy but the foreign and local observers played a very effective role in curbing those threats," he said.
Mr. Felix Anaman, spokesperson for Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah, the only independent candidate said the candidate was pleased with his 19,342 votes, saying that it was an indication that Ghanaians were bought into the job creation campaign to provide jobs for the people.