ACCRA, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Ghana's incumbent President John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has won the country's presidential election, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) Kwadwo Afari-Gyan said here late Sunday.
Mahama took 5,574,761 votes, or 50.70 percent of the total valid votes cast, while his closest challenger, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) obtained 5,248,898 votes, or 47.74 percent.
The six other candidates who contested Friday's presidential election in Ghana collectively polled less than 2 percent of the total valid votes cast.
From a total registered voter population of 14,158,890, the total number of votes cast in the election was 11,246,982 with a voter turnout of 79.43 percent.
Mahama took over as president from John Atta Mills, the substantive president who passed away on July 24 at the 37 Military Hospital at age 68.
With his re-election, Mahama becomes the fourth president to be elected under the Forth Republic.
Later after EC's announcement, Mahama urged candidates who contested with him in Friday's presidential election to respect the verdict of the people in his acceptance speech at his residence in Accra.
He expressed his appreciation to the people for the confidence reposed in him and promised to do his best for Ghanaians.
The Ghanaian president commended the country's electoral body for a good job done in spite of some challenges encountered in the process.
He appealed to sympathizers of the winning party to celebrate in moderation and eschew acts that would affect the peace and stability of the country.
Mahama, then vice-president, became president of Ghana according to the country's 1992 constitution upon the passing away of former President John Evans Atta Mills on July 24.
Ghana has since its return to constitutional democracy in 1992 held six successive successful general elections to live up to its accolade as the beacon of peace and democracy in the West African sub-region.
The NDC has won four of the presidential elections while the leading opposition party, the NPP has won two.