Ghana’s opposition NDC to petition against election results this week

Ghana’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which has been crying foul about the results of the 7 December presidential and parliamentary elections, says it is ready to contest the outcome in court.

A member of the party’s legal team, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, said on Saturday that the election petition against the results declared by the Electoral Commission (EC) will be filed by Wednesday.
“We’ll go to court. We’ve made that clear… Certainly, by Wednesday, all these matters would be placed before the court,” Dafeamekpor was quoted by the local media as saying.

Under the electoral laws, the aggrieved party has 21 days to file its petition at the court.
This will be the second time in the Fourth Republic, which started in 1992, that the outcome of a presidential election will be challenged in court.

In 2012, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who was candidate of New Patriotic Party (NPP), refused to concede to John Dramani Mahama and challenged the result in court.
After eight months, the Supreme Court rejected the petition and confirmed Mahama as winner.

This time it is the reverse as Mahama is challenging the victory of incumbent president Akufo-Addo, who won in 2016.
The Supreme Court, in new rules unveiled just before the election, will hear the petition in 42 days.

The EC declared Akufo-Addo winner with about 51% of the votes while Mahama was credited with about 47%.

In the parliamentary vote, the NDC and NPP have 137 seats each in the 275-member chamber while one independent candidate also won a seat.
Both parties are saying they will contest the results of a series of seats in court.
Mr Dafeamekpor noted that the EC, on several occasions, flouted the laws governing the conduct of elections.

Members of the NDC have been staging demonstrations across the country to protest against the “stolen verdict”. The police have banned all protests in Accra until 10 January. Akufo-Addo will be inaugurated for his second term on 7 January.

“If the EC will be willing to comply with the law, that will end the matter. It is not about declaring the seat in our [NDC] favour, that is not what we’re saying,” Dafeamekpor said.

“We’re saying [EC should] comply with the law. If you comply with the law and we emerge victorious that is fine. But you do not comply with the law and announce another candidate as the victor. No.” he added.

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