The Supreme Court of the Republic of has dismissed an election petition by the opposition to annul and overturn President John Mahama’s victory in last year’s general elections.
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) alleged in court that Mr. Mahama won the election fraudulently but Mr. Mahama and his ruling National Democratic Party (NDC) denied the allegation strongly.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) had asked the court to annul some four million votes, alleging the result was tampered with to guarantee Mr. Mahama victory in the first round of the election.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) argued that any mistakes made by polling station officials while recording ballots was not an attempt to subvert democracy, and there were insufficient grounds for the court to overturn the result.
But the nine member Supreme Court led by Justice William Atuguba stated on clear terms that Mr. Mahama was “validly elected’’ by the people.
Leader of the opposition party, Nana Akufo-Addo told reporters after the court ruling that he is highly disappointed in the ruling but he accepts the ruling unconditionally and urged his party supporters to do likewise.
“Everything in my bones, in my upbringing and in what I have done in my life thus far makes it imperative that I accept the decision made by the highest court of the land, however much I dislike or disagree with it. I am saddened by the verdict and I know many of our supporters are saddened too. We must embark on the path that builds rather than destroys to deal with our disappointments’’, Nana Akufo-Addo told reporters after the ruling.
The ruling was announced live on television and radio to show as a sign of judicial transparency which Ghana has Africa championed.
After the ruling, crowds of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters emerged to stand on the court stairs, singing and waving white handkerchiefs and jubilating.
President Mahama and his vice, Mr. Amissah Attah watched the proceedings at the Flagstaff-House which the official office for government businesses. Mr. Mahama posted on his Facebook page that the court’s decision has cemented Ghana’s credentials in democracy in Africa.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is a confirmation that Ghana is a stable democracy and an example of free and fair elections for all African nations. Now, it is time to look into the future. I urge all political forces to put aside their differences and to work together so everyone will lead a better life. We all have a duty to the people to work so our country remains united. I pledge to all, the people who voted for me or the people who voted for the other candidates, to extend a hand to the NPP and all political forces in order to achieve the unity we need and want. It’s time to unite’’, President Mahama wrote.
Ghana, the first country in Sub- Sahara Africa to gain independence is generally seen as a beacon of democracy in Africa as it has practiced multi-party democracy since 1992.
Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News