News / Africa

    Ghana Court Rejects Challenge to President's Election

    Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama arrives for a meeting with France's President at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 28, 2013 file photo.  Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama arrives for a meeting with France's President at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 28, 2013 file photo.
    x
    Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama arrives for a meeting with France's President at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 28, 2013 file photo.
    Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama arrives for a meeting with France's President at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 28, 2013 file photo.
    Joana Mantey
    The Supreme Court of Ghana has rejected a challenge to the validity of the 2012 polls that saw John Mahama elected as president. The opposition New Patriotic Party [NPP] had sought to annul the election on grounds of fraud.
     
    The NPP claimed a number of irregularities occurred during the 2012 elections, including over-voting, voting without biometric verification and voting with duplicate serial numbers. It petitioned the Supreme Court for the elections to be annulled.

    Mahama, of the governing National Democratic Congress [NDC] won the presidential poll with 50.7 percent of the vote, about 300,000 more than the NPP’s Nana Akuffo Addo, in an election contested by eight candidates.

    The court ruled Thursday in a 5-4 decision that President Mahama was validly elected.

    George Lawson, the deputy general secretary of the NDC, said “We have been vindicated because the things they sent to court had no standing or grounding, and it has been proven today and we are happy. The way forward is now to be focused and see how best we can shape the economy and [fulfill] the promises that we made to Ghanaians.”

    Both parties in the case had said they would accept the court’s verdict, and after it was handed down Thursday NPP’s Akuffo Addo did just that. He told reporters it is important for Ghana to tread on a path that builds, rather than destroys.

    “I have just called President John Dramani Mahama and have now congratulated him on being elected the fourth president of the fourth republic of our country. Whilst I disagree with the court's decision, I accept it.  I accept what the court says brings finality to the election dispute. We shall not be asking for a review of the verdict so we can all move on in the interest of our nation," said Addo.

    Initial reaction shows there is some calm in the country. Some Ghanaian workers expressed their sentiments about the outcome. They include Awura Abena and Maxwell, both residents of Accra.

    "It has been a long struggle. This period has tested our democracy," said Abena. "No matter your political affiliation, you should be able to say that the victory is for Ghana."

    "This has put the electoral system to scrutiny. I am sure the Electoral Commission would look at the system and make it watertight. Some quality must be looked out for so that at the end of the day, the electoral laws would be strictly adhered to," said Maxwell.

    The government deployed 30,000 police around the country before the ruling, bracing for possible unrest. But there were no reports of rioting or unrest in the hours after the court's decision.

    You May Like

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora