Supreme Court set to announce verdict sometime after 14 August 2013
It’s been such a long process that some of you may have forgotten that the Ghanaian 2012 election result was actually in dispute as John Dramani Mahama was inaugurated as President and has quietly gone about his job running the country. However Ghana’s supreme court heard final arguments on Wednesday over whether it should overturn the results of 2012 presidential polls due to irregularities, in a case that has transfixed the nation at the time.
Just to recap the country’s largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party, is challenging President John Dramani Mahama’s win last December, saying the vote was marred by irregularities and that their candidate Nana Akufo-Addo was the true winner. Mahama was elected with 50.7 percent of the vote in the December election, which international observers said was free and fair. However the NPP cried foul, saying the election was handled improperly, and vowed to challenge the outcome in court.
The bulk of the NPP’s evidence consisted of “pink sheets”, which were used to report the results from polling stations around the country. The NPP claims these sheets show a raft of improprieties, like ballot box-stuffing and voting by people who were not verified through a biometric system that was used for the first time in the December election.
Constitutional violations, malpractices and vulgarities have a material effect on the results,” Philip Addison, attorney for the NPP, told the court in closing arguments. Presiding justice William Atuguba announced that the court would have a final hearing on August 14, then adjourn for a maximum of 15 days to deliberate before announcing its verdict.
If the court agrees with the NPP, it could order the country’s election commission to reverse Mahama’s election victory, which would be unprecedented and a stern test for Ghana’s democracy in regards to how they handle any power shift. In my previous blog post of 08/01/2013 Ghana Elections; NPP to challenge NDC Win at the time the petition was being filed by the opposition I questioned whether they had enough evidence to back up their claims but the fact they we have had a long standing trial indicates there was enough discrepancies to dispute.
Whatever verdict is announced later this month, this whole process has been good advert for transparent democracy in Ghana
Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)