Crisis looms in Ghana as Mahama rejects presidential poll result
National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader, John Mahama, 62, has rejected results of Ghana’s December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections, citing “litany of irregularities and blatant rigging” in favour of President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The Electoral Commission (EC) declared Akufo-Addo, 76, re-elected with 51.59 per cent of the ballots against Mahama’s 47.36 per cent. The umpire later revised the figure of valid votes cast, but insisted the revision and the voided scores of Techiman South constituency, where the exercise was marred by violence, would not affect the overall outcome.
But the opposition party is contesting the figures and calling for a re-run, because from its calculations, none of the 12 candidates allegedly met the constitutional requirements to be declared winner.
NDC also claimed that it won 140 of the 275 parliamentary seats as against the 136 declared by the electoral body, while 137 was announced for the ruling National People’s Party (NPP).
Scores of protesters, including women and youths, have called for a bye-election in the Accra region of the West African nation. Faced with armed security forces and water tanks, protesting youths refused to retreat but set bonfires on the road, as police tried pacifying them to disperse.
The force confirmed that no fewer than five people were killed and 60 others injured in the electoral violence, with two polling officials also arrested for vote tampering.
The hostility in the latest elections is considered a blight on Ghana, a cocoa-rich country with some 31 million population and about 17 million registered voters, seen as a beacon of democracy in the sub-region, having witnessed peaceful transfer of power for almost 20 years.
In his latest official statement, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel, urged his fellow compatriots to eschew aggression and seek redress legally. He specifically called on the political leaders to respect the peace agreement entered into before the election and stamp out vigilantism.