NPP & Akufo Addo aim to have final say on election result…
Well we all knew what was coming as soon as the NPP (National Patriotic Party) refused to accept the results declared by the Election commission on 09 December. Thus on 28 December 2012 the NPP (National Patriotic Party) finally filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge President John Mahama’s victory in the election earlier in December.
The NPP believed the election results were rigged in favor of incumbent President Mahama who they claimed colluded with some officials of the EC to manipulate the results. After analysing the data from 26,000 polling stations the party found irregularities such as cases of over voting and instances when people not registered by the new biometric finger-printing system were able to vote. Lastly the NPP had calculated that there were 1.34 million extra votes cast, which if withdrawn from the final tally would make Mr Akufo-Addo the winner.
Nana Akufo-Addo said it had not been an easy decision to go ahead with the challenge, but the evidence submitted was “mind-blowing and came as a shock even to sceptics in the party”. He alongside Mahamudu Bawumia, his running-mate and Jake Otanka Obetsebi- Lamptey, chairman of the NPP filed the petition at the supreme court against the president-elect, John Dramani Mahama, the EC Chairman Kwadwo Afari- Gyan; and the EC itself.
When I initially thought about the ramifications if the NPP’s allegations are proved to be true, I could not help but think how damaging this petition may be to Ghana’s reputation as a tolerant and free democracy. However at the same time the fling of the petition shows democracy in operation with the NPP respecting the parameters of the constitution and filing the petition in accordance with the law. Moreover since rejecting the result the NPP have not sought to create unrest within the electorate but have remained calm and confident in collating their “mind blowing evidence”.
It remains to be seen whether the NPP have enough evidence to get the result overturned. The fact that international election observers described the poll as free and fair makes it seem unlikely. However if fraud is proven it will raise serious questions about the integrity of the Electoral Commission and its role in future elections. Whatever the outcome though, the Ghanaian electorate can be proud that they played an honest part in a peaceful election.
It is estimated the election challenge case is expected to be heard in three weeks. Meanwhile President Mahama is expected to be sworn into office on 7 January 2013.
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Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)