Ghana’s President John Mahama said he had a “very good” chance of winning Wednesday’s presidential poll and dismissed talk of spiralling corruption in the west African country.
Voting in his northern home region of Bole, where he was mobbed by a cheering crowd, the 58-year-old head of state told AFP he had “no regrets” about his first term in office and felt “very good” about his chance of securing a second four-year mandate.
Though clashes in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary vote have raised fears of trouble in a country viewed as a beacon of stability, Mahama said Ghana would remain a model a democracy.
“I think Ghana’s democracy has matured. This election is going to consolidate that democracy further,” he said.
Asked to comment on allegations of corruption, he said “there is a general perception of corruption in all African countries. I think it is a stage of our development.
“As we continue to strengthen the institutions of state, I think that people will come to see the integrity in these institutions.”
Results are expected from late Thursday in a tight presidential race in which Mahama’s popularity has been chipped away by criticism from his main rival, veteran politician Nana Akufo-Addo, over sluggish economic growth and high-profile corruption.
An exporter of gold, cocoa and oil, Ghana was once hailed as a regional growth model but in 2015 had to go to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.