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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid