News / Africa

Ghana Supreme Court Considers Election Challenge

Ghanaian newly elected President John Dramani Mahama gives a speech as he attends a victory rally to thank the supporters of NDC in Accra December 10, 2012.
Ghanaian newly elected President John Dramani Mahama gives a speech as he attends a victory rally to thank the supporters of NDC in Accra December 10, 2012.
Joana Mantey
Ghana’s Supreme Court is asking for final written arguments by the end of July in an opposition case challenging the 2012 election of President John Mahama.  The court will rule in August on the petition to overturn the election in what is considered one of Africa’s most stable democracies.

Just weeks after the December 7 election of John Mahama, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) went to the Supreme Court complaining of election irregularities.

Mahama won in the first round with 50.7 percent of the vote in an election certified as free and fair by the election commission and the international community.

But the NPP alleges fraud based on data from polling stations, including over voting and voting by people not registered by the new biometric finger printing system.

Ghana opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo speaks during meeting in Accra to contest presidential election results December 11, 2012Ghana opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo speaks during meeting in Accra to contest presidential election results December 11, 2012
x
Ghana opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo speaks during meeting in Accra to contest presidential election results December 11, 2012
Ghana opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo speaks during meeting in Accra to contest presidential election results December 11, 2012
Those leading the petition are presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, his running mate, Mahamudu Bawumia, and the national chairman of the party, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey.  The respondents are President John Mahama, Ghana’s Electoral Commission and the governing National Democratic Congress.  

This is the first time the position of president is being challenged in Ghana, and some have questioned if it will undermine the country’s strong democracy.  But some political experts said the legal action is actually a good sign of the country’s political maturity.  

“If people do not go to court, they will seek justice their own way and that would not even be justice.  So the court is there for all of us," said Emmanuel Akwettey, executive director of Institute for Democratic Governance. "Nobody went on the streets because they believe that the court is doing the job.  [They are] trained to do it, mandated to do it and empowered to do it.” 

There has been lots of media coverage of this case and speculation if the decision will trigger violence.

Some civil society groups are circulating petitions for the public to commit to non-violence.  Analyst Akwettey, who is also with Ghana’s Civic Forum Initiative, said those petitions will be published to serve as a reminder to Ghanaians of their commitment to peace, and politicians are being reminded to do the same.

“Violence is not an option at all after the verdict.  Do not forget that we have done revolution in this country and we all decided that it must be democracy.  That is the strength of Ghana.  We sometimes get to the brink.  But then we embrace ourselves and move on and say, we are one people,” he said.
 
The Supreme Court’s decision is expected by mid-August.

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid