Ghanaians go to the polls today, to elect a new President and 275 Members of Parliament to form the next government.
About 15.8 million eligible voters are expected to cast their votes at 29,000 polling stations in the 275 constituencies across the country.
Seven presidential candidates are engaged in the race to the Flagstaff House.
They are the incumbent President, John Dramani Mahama (National Democratic Congress), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (New Patriotic Party), Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom (Progressive People’s Party), Mr. Ivor Kobina Greenstreet (Convention People’s Party), Dr Edward Mahama (People’s National Convention), Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings (National Democratic Party) and Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, an Independent Candidate.
After months of campaigning to canvass for votes from the electorate, all the presidential candidates are optimistic of clinching victory in the election.
The NDC manifesto which was launched at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, hinged on four thematic areas: putting people first, strong and resilient economy, responding to social infrastructure, and improving transparent and accountable governance.
President Mahama has assured of aggressively implementing the manifesto in its entirety, if given a second term mandate.
He said the manifesto captured the unique plans of the NDC to move Ghana forward.
President Mahama is optimistic of winning a first round election because of the numerous infrastructural development projects he has undertaken.
The NPP, on the other hand, says its manifesto represents a social contract between the electorate and the elected.
Nana Akufo-Addo said he would create equal opportunity for all citizens and provide quality education to ensure a skilled workforce that can compete in the globalised economy.
He said his government would be accountable to the electorate by tackling corruption.
Nana Akufo-Addo is capitalising on the rate of unemployment in the country to convince the electorate to vote for the NPP.
Dr. Nduom of the PPP has pledged to promote vigorous agricultural policies to transform the Ghanaian economy.
He pledged to reduce the importation of rice to the barest minimum, and ensure that farmers earn enough from their toils.
The CPP presidential candidate, Mr. Greenstreet, for his part is focussed on job creation, management of natural resources and essential social services such as providing affordable housing, water, electricity, food, transport and sanitation.
He promised to renegotiate all contracts which are not in the best interest of the nation.
The PNC flag-bearer, Dr Mahama launched a 55-page document to deal with the crisis confronting the nation, and restore its dignity for it to compete effectively with other sovereign nations.
The manifesto of the party touches on areas such as environment and sustainable development, unemployment and the national economy.
The NDP manifesto is on the theme: “Banishing corruption for national development”.
According to its flag-bearer, Mrs Rawlings, the manifesto places premium on banishing corruption, strategies to create employment for the teeming unemployed youth as well as promoting human resource development.
Mr Osei Yeboah, the independent candidate, who is an Engineer by profession, says he is on the verge of causing the biggest upset on the election today.
He said his administration would implement the National Electronic Data Infrastructure meant to help create jobs for young people across the country.
Analysts believe that the election would be won on two main issues- infrastructural development, as against unemployment.
Who wins election 2016?
By Augustine Cobba-Biney