4 Jan 2009

Ghana's peaceful presidential election was a rare example of a functioning democracy in Africa and should be a model for the continent, African leaders and voters have said. Skip related content

Much attention in Africa and elsewhere was focused on the Ghanaian vote after a year of political crises, many of them violent, tarnished Africa's democratic credentials.

Opposition candidate John Atta Mills was declared the winner on Saturday after the closely fought election was settled by a run-off.

Kenya's prime minister Raila Odinga said: "John Atta Mills' victory and the conduct of the people of Ghana provides a rare example of democracy at work in Africa."

While the contest raised tensions and some violent incidents were reported, international observers say the vote was mostly peaceful. The conduct of the election contrasted with many other African countries, where democracy was battered in 2008.

More than 1,000 people were killed in post-election violence in Kenya at the start of the year and in Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have been deadlocked for months over a power-sharing agreement after disputed elections.



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