Court challenge to Ghanaian election outcome | Africa | DW | 16.04.2013
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Africa

Court challenge to Ghanaian election outcome

Ghana's highest court is now hearing a challenge to the outcome of last year's elections. Proceedings are expected to last months and could be a test of patience in one of Africa's more stable democracies.

Ghana's supreme court has begun hearing a petition contesting the election victory of President John Mahama in December 2012.

The petitioners include the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo, his running mate Mahamudu Bawumia and national party chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey.

Lamptey told DW's radio show Africalink "we are challenging the conduct of the whole election process. We are saying that a number of things happened in places that were illegal."

Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey speaks after a press point on planned legal action to challenging the recent presidential election results, in Accra on December 11, 2012. Ghana's main opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo on Tuesday refused to accept presidential election results giving victory to incumbent John Dramani Mahama and vowed to challenge them in court. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

NPP National Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey told DW he believes he will get a fair hearing from the supreme court

He said he and his supporters had evidence to show that in 2,000 polling stations, "more votes were counted than balloted papers were issued."

The NPP wants more than 4.67 million valid votes to be annulled and Akufo-Addo declared the winner.

Official results said Mahama, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), won 50.7 per cent of the vote while Akufo-Addo received 47.74 per cent.

The NDC has denied allegations of fraud.

DW correspondent Isaac Kaledzi was in court and reports that there was a huge security presence with party supporters banned from the premises.

epa03500954 A photograph made available on 08 December 2012 showing a long line of voters waiting to cast their ballots in the presidential elections in Accra, Ghana 07 December 2012. Reports indicate voting in the presidential elections has entered a second day after technical glitches led to long delays in some parts of Ghana. The race is expected to be between interim President John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo. Ghana has been a beacon of democracy in the troubled West African region and is now even more relevant due to the new oil discoveries and rapidly growing economy. EPA/GABRIELA BARNUEVO

Technical glitches led to long delays for voters in some parts of Ghana

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday after a request for a postponement because of missing documents.

On hearing of the delay to the start of substantive proceedings, one member of the public in Accra told DW "we are all just praying and hoping that something good will come, because at the end of the day we are all Ghanaians and we need peace in this nation."

Proceedings were expected to last for months in a country seen as one of the few stable democracies in West Africa. Mahama, who was sworn in on January 7, was not scheduled to appear.

International observers said the election four months ago was free, fair and transparent and the poll passed off peacefully despite technical problems that forced voting into a second day.

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