Ghana – Presidential: the opposition seizes justice

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If the Ghanaian observers judge the double ballot of December 7 regular, the unsuccessful candidate challenges its legality. “I want the country’s institutions to be accountable and that we can ask for transparency without risking our lives. These words are those of John Dramani Mahama, Ghana’s unsuccessful opposition presidential candidate.

Legality

Joining words to deeds, he filed a complaint on Thursday with the Supreme Court to officially challenge the results won by outgoing President Nana Akufo-Addo. The candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) spoke in the columns of the newspaper Graphic to defend its position. “Ghana must be a country where we the citizens know and believe, without a doubt, that the way forward is determined by the will of the Ghanaian people. And that we can hold our state institutions accountable and ensure that they work in the national interest, and not in the interest of the administration or the person in power, the ex-leader detailed. That’s what I want. ”

In this request filed by lawyers for John Dramani Mahama and consulted by Agence France-Presse, the opposition leader claims that the presidential election was marred by fraud and that its result must be annulled. The plaintiff asks the justice that “an order enjoins the Electoral Commission to proceed to a second election”, because “its results are unconstitutional, null and void”. Forty-eight hours after the December 7 poll, the Election Commission announced that outgoing President Nana Akufo-Addo was re-elected with 51.59% of the vote, against 47.36% for the opposition candidate NDC, his predecessor John Mahama. Only 515,524 votes separate the two candidates. The opposition then immediately contested his defeat in front of the press. And the results of the legislative elections should also be contested since no majority has emerged in Parliament.

A first obstacle for Akufo-Addo

Five people were killed in violence on the day of the vote and count, according to the police. Apart from these sporadic incidents, the election was generally hailed as an example in West Africa, plagued this year by several violent and contested polls, especially in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire. These two old political opponents faced each other for the third time, with equally close results in the two previous polls.

In 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo won with 53.8%. Four years earlier, in 2012, it was John Damani Mahama with 50.7% of the vote. At the time, the current president challenged his rival’s victory and filed an appeal in the same court to invalidate the results. Eight months later, after intense debates broadcast live on radio and television, justice confirmed John Mahama’s victory. Shortly after the announcement of the verdict, Nana Akufo-Addo then admitted defeat. The president-elect must be sworn in on January 7, 2021, not sure that the legal appeals will be settled by then.

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