Supreme Court Validates John D. Mahama’s win at 2012 Election
So judgement day has come and gone! With John Dramani Mahama having survived the National Patriotic Party (NPP) petition against him thus being validated as President. The day started with a mixture of excitement and apprehension in Accra. Some 32,000 security officers were deployed across Ghana to prevent any violence. However most Ghanaians didn’t ever believe the largely foreign media rhetoric that violence would break out following a verdict.
After the verdict was announced there was a sense of calm from most and I suspect a sense of relief from the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Crowds of NDC supporters emerged to stand on the court stairs, singing and waving white handkerchiefs.
The court ruled that President Mahama had been “validly elected” after beating the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo by 50.7% to 47.7% in the December 2012 election. Mr Akufo-Addo said he would respect the decision of the nine judges.”I urge all our supporters to accept the verdict – and in peace,” he said.
It has been widely asserted that the NPP’s petition failed because although there were some evidence voting irregularities there was not sufficient proof that this could be put down to intentional fraud. Also there were questions about the scale of the irregularities and whether they would have actually made a difference to the result.
NDC general secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia said he was happy with the verdict, as he knew the party had done nothing wrong. The NDC will hope that the ruling will end the anxiety hanging over the Ghana for the last eight months. This is something the NPP may disagree but they realise they don’t have much choice but to accept the judgement firstly because they had promised to do so and secondly because essentially they had reached the final stage by taking their grievance to the Supreme Court.
One of the most striking things about the whole process was that the case was broadcast live on television and radio in a rare show of judicial transparency not just in Ghana but in Africa. This in particular brought a sense of “soap opera drama” to the proceedings with the whole of Ghana virtually hooked on each episode awaiting the final instalment with bated breath.
For the past eight months everybody in Ghana has become honorary members of the Supreme Court, everybody is a lawyers now in. Courtroom language is being used in homes and public places as a mode of communication. There is no doubt that the 29 August 2013 will forever remain a pivotal day in Ghana’s political history.
Ghana may never be the same again after this.
Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)