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TIMELINE: Mills wins Ghana presidential election run-off

(Reuters) - John Atta Mills of Ghana’s opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) won the presidential election, the electoral commission said on Saturday.

He will succeed President John Kufuor, who is due to stand down on January 7 after serving the maximum two elected four-year terms allowed by the West African state’s constitution.

Here is a timeline of Ghana since independence:

March 6, 1957 - The former British colony of Gold Coast becomes the first country in black Sub-Saharan Africa to win independence.

July 1960 - Kwame Nkrumah becomes president of the Republic of Ghana, months after a republican constitution is ratified by a referendum.

February 1966 - Nkrumah is overthrown after a military coup. Russian and Chinese technicians are expelled.

August 1969 - A new constitution is ratified leading to a transfer of power to the civilian government of Kofi Busia.

January 1972 - Busia is ousted in coup led by Colonel Ignatius Acheampong. General Frederick Akuffo takes over in 1978.

June 1979 - Akuffo is deposed in a coup led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings. Elections are held and in September Rawlings hands over power to a new president, Hilla Limann.

January 1981 - Limann is overthrown in coup led by Rawlings after two years of weak economic policies.

November 1992 - Rawlings is elected president.

January 2001 - Former opposition leader John Kufuor is sworn in as new president after Rawlings served the two elected terms he is allowed.

December 2004 - Kufuor wins second and final four-year mandate.

June 2007 - London-based Tullow Oil Plc says it has found up to 600 million barrels of oil offshore.

December 7, 2008 - First round of presidential election. Neither Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party nor John Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress wins more than the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off.

December 28, 2008 - Run-off held in all but one of Ghana’s 230 constituencies. Mills has an edge, but vote is so close the result goes down to the final constituency of Tain.

Jan 2, 2009 - Akufo-Addo’s NPP boycotts vote in Tain, where Mills wins overwhelming majority of votes.

Jan 3, 2009 - Electoral Commission declares Mills winner with 50.23 percent of total votes cast in the run-off, against 49.77 percent for Akufo-Addo.

Sources: Reuters/Europa