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Ghana’s opposition rejects election results

By AFP
10 December 2020   |   12:45 pm
Ghana's opposition has rejected presidential and parliamentary election results, a party official said late on Wednesday and intends to take steps to appeal the electoral commission's decision.

Former Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama casts his ballot as he votes for the presidential and parliamentary election at an open-air polling station, in his hometown Bole, Ghana, on December 7, 2020. – More than 17 million people are eligible to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana with the race for the top job expected to be a close-run fight between incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo and longtime opponent John Mahama. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

Ghana’s opposition has rejected presidential and parliamentary election results, a party official said late on Wednesday and intends to take steps to appeal the electoral commission’s decision.

“Overwhelming evidence available makes it impossible for us to accept this spurious and hurried conclusion,” Haruna Iddrisu, a member of parliament for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party said after the electoral commission announced President Akufo-Addo had won Monday’s vote with 51.59 percent, beating the NDC’s leader Mahama’s 47.36 percent.

“We intend to take decisive and concrete steps, both with the presidential and parliamentary results, to overturn this brazen and shameless attack on our democracy,” said Iddrissu, speaking at a press conference in the capital Accra.

The West African country is known for its stable democracy, but tensions rose Tuesday after Mahama claimed to have won a parliamentary majority and warned Akufo-Addo, of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) against stealing the vote.

Mahama, 62, charged that Akufo-Addo, 76, had harnessed the military in a bid to sway the outcome, a claim the government said was false.

“You cannot use the military to try and overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won. We will resist any attempts to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghanaian people,” Mahama said.

In a victory speech on Wednesday, the president-elect addressed his jubilant supporters, calling for peace.

“Now is the time, irrespective of political affiliations, to unite, join hands and stand shoulder to shoulder,” Akufo-Addo said.

Ghana has had seven peaceful transitions of power since the return of democracy more than 30 years ago, as post-electoral grievances have always been pursued through the courts –- a rarity in the troubled region.

Hoping to retain that reputation, Akufo-Addo and Mahama on Friday had signed a symbolic peace pact, which the 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS urged “all political parties and their leadership to respect.”