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Counting the Hours Before Ghana's Presidential Elections

It is just one day before Ghana's election day and campaigns are intensifying – some early morning street campaigns are accompanied by horn blowing, loud singing and clapping. Some people are proudly wearing party-affiliated shirts around town while others are taking the subtle route of keeping it private. Television networks are transitioning programs with peace messages from both children and adults amidst a handful of stories about political violence in some towns.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – Ghana's main opposition presidential candidate. Photo released under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) by Nana Addo.

@Macharia_M tweeted on December 5, 2012:

@Macharia_M: These guys are taking the peace campaigns pretty seriously. Even in their music programs a whole 15 minutes of peace songs. Whoa.

@accradotalt tweeted on December 4, saying:

@accradotalt: All these peace songs are a bit much- as if prior to the elections #Ghana was unstable.

The Electoral Commission of Ghana has warned the public not to use cell phones to take pictures of their votes while in the voting booths. The warning, however, doesn’t seem to sit well with some voters.

Commenting on a story about the warning published on MyJoyOnline, Freedom Fighter had this to say:

Everyone has the right to announce who they supported, and vote buying will continue as long as this is a capitalist country. The US allows photo taking. They cannot stop freedom.

Commenting on the same story, Kobbie wrote:

I wonder how they’re gonna enforce that. Pat-downs before entering the booth?

On the issue of peace, @novisid, clearly a supporter of the National Democratic Congress party tweeted:

@novisid: I won't merely pledge to vote. I pledge to vote 4 Mahama [current president John Mahama]. Against all die be die. PEACE!

It appears the rhetoric has intensified in the few days leading to the elections as staunch party members are using social media platforms to counter statements from their opponents.

@novisid tweeted again:

@novisid: Seems Bawumia was told that for him to be seen as a politician whatever he sees, he should just call it ‘propaganda'.

And he adds:

@novisid: What has dominated debate ahead of election is not education but Akuffo Addo's fraud called free SHS [Free Senior High School].

A supporter of the opposition party, New Patriotic Party, @ohenebagyimah has been raining tweets for the party in the days leading to the elections.

On December 2, he wrote:

@ohenebagyimah: When NDC says (in their ad) that “for peace to prevail in Ghana, vote JDM [John Dramani Mahama] and the NDC” what are they telling us?”

On December 3, he tweeted:

@ohenebagyimah: For a better value for your vote,votewyc for Nana Addo #3 on the ballot paper.

It will be interesting to see what happens between supporters of the two major parties, NDC and NPP, on social media platforms come Saturday, December 8, after the elections. There will be a run-off on December 28 if no candidate receives an absolute majority of 50% plus one vote.

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