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Politics

Ghana's top court to rule on contested poll

Ghana's Supreme Court is expected to rule shortly on a petition brought before it by the main opposition party, which is calling for the results of the December elections to be annulled.

Presidential elections held in Ghana on December 7, 2012 were won by the incumbent John Mahama, but the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) claims he won the poll fraudulently with the help of the Electoral Commission. The NPP alleges that 1.3 million votes were counted wrongly in Mahama's favor.

The poll, which passed off peacefully despite some technical problems that forced voting into a second day, was seen as a test of stability for one of Africa's most mature democracies and fastest growing economies.

Supporters of National Democratic Congress (NDC) celebrate the victory of their candidate, John Dramani Mahama, REUTERS/Luc Gnago (

Most observers said the poll which returned John Mahama to power was fair

The NPP came second in the closely fought contest which most observers said appeared fair.

Not about propaganda

Shortly after filing their suit with Ghana's Supreme Court, one of the NPP's lawyers, Kwame Akufo, told the media that his clients "had a good case" and that "we believe we are on firm ground." He also insisted that the case was about "the numbers" and "not about propaganda."

Victor Kojoga Adawudu, a lawyer who supports Mahama's governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), believes the NPP doesn't have a case. He said the petition does not refer to fraud and that "nothing has been shown in their petition."

According to the Electoral Commission, Nana Akufo-Addo, who was the NPP's contender for president, polled 47.7 percent to Mahama's 50.7 percent.

Nana Akufo-Addo AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Nana Akufo-Addo insists there is nothing personal in his legal bid to overturn his rival's victory

Akufo-Addo has been defending his decision to contest the poll. It was not a personal matter, he insisted. "This case is not about candidate Mahama or candidate Akufo-Addo. There is a much more important issue at stake which goes to the heart of our democracy and the future of our nation," he declared.

NDC dismisses NPP evidence

The NDC is underwhelmed by such claims. Their general secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketsiah, says the "evidence they are talking about can't stand the test of any proceedings anywhere." He also alleges that the NPP are already preparing the minds of their supporters so that if the case is thrown out then it means that "the NDC has done something at the Supreme Court."

Both the NDC and the Electoral Commission have been served with the petition filed by the NPP. Meanwhile preparations for John Mahama's swearing-in ceremony on January 7, 2013 are continuing.             

DW.DE