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Ghana election, test of country's democratic reputation

Voters in Ghana are selecting their next president and a 275-seat parliament in elections, solidifying the West African nation's as a beacon of democracy in the region.

Some 14 million people are expected to turn out for Friday's poll. President John Dramani Mahama, in office only since July when he as vice president succeeded President John Atta Mills when he died in office, is facing seven contenders.

His main opponent is Nana Akufo-Addo, a former foreign minister, who lost the 2008 election to Mills by less than 1 percent.

Ghana, a nation of 25 million, has previously held five transparent elections in a row. Nearby Mali, which was also considered a model democracy, was plunged into chaos this March following a military coup.