Mr Kufuor won 52.75 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s poll, ahead of his main opponent John Atta Mills, who gained 44.32 percent.

While results from five of the country’s 230 constituencies have not been finalised, electoral officials said they will not alter the overall result.

“I declare President Kufuor new president of the Ghana republic,” said commission chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan.

The two minor candidates, Edward Mahama and George Aggudey, won 1.9 percent and one percent of the vote respectively, he said.

The turnout rate was a massive 83.2 percent, and observers have praised the poll for being well-run, calm and orderly.

While they reported several incidents of irregularities, they said these were isolated incidents.

President Kufuor’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) is set to hold on to its slender majority in parliament, newly grown by 30 seats to 230 members, which were also contested in the elections.

Mr Afari-Gyan called the elections a success and thanked the voters, the political parties, the security forces and the electoral officials for their involvement.

“The president is very happy at this re-election for the next four years… the general elections were conducted peacefully and orderly,” said Kufuor spokesman Kwabena Agyapong.

“It is obvious that majority of Ghanaians have been appreciative of the way President Kufuor and his government have worked over the last four years,” he told a press conference.

John Agyekum Kufuor, 66, is nicknamed the ‘gentle giant’ and was first appointed deputy minister of foreign affairs in 1969.

He has put in place favourable economic policies that have helped the country post five percent growth each year and cut inflation, currying favour with international lenders.

President Kufuor, an Oxford-educated lawyer, was first elected in 2000 after the charismatic and controversial John Rawlings had been in power for two decades.

Rawlings, 55, seized power in June 1979 only to hand the reins to an elected civilian government four months later.

A second coup on December 31, 1981 ushered the former flight lieutenant to the presidency he held with an iron fist until 2000, when he was constitutionally obliged to step down.

Both of his military regimes are accused of having tortured, tried and executed their opponents.

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