By Clifford Ndujihe in Accra & Ben Agande
Accra —FOR the first time since Ghana returned to electoral democracy in 1992, the courts may wade in to affirm the winner of the 2012 presidential elections.
The opposition New Patriotic Party, NPP, is protesting the Electoral Commission’s declaration of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, candidate, President John Dramani Mahama as winner of the polls and is bent on challenging the matter in court.
This came as NDC supporters from all parts of the country thronged theNkrumah Circle,Accra, where President Mahama delivered a victory speech, thanking Ghanaians for their confidence in him and promising to improve their lot and accelerate socio-infrastructural development.
3 candidates accept defeat
Meanwhile, three of the remaining six presidential candidates, Mr. Akwasi Addai of the United Front Party, UFP; Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention, PNC; and Jacob Osei Yeboah, an independent have conceded defeat to President Mahama, saying that Ghanaians had spoken.
Announcing the result, Sunday night, EC Chairman, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, said the NDC candidate polled 5,574,761 or 50.70 per cent of the valid votes to win the hotly and tightly contested election.
His closest challenger, Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP polled 5,248,898 votes (47.74 per cent).
NPP alleged discrepancies
Before the announcement, the NPP had called on the EC to suspend the exercise until it had verified alleged discrepancies in the results and counts from the biometric verification machines.
According to the NPP, which left power four years ago after being on the saddle for eight years, it has uncovered systematic ‘substantial discrepancies’ in results from various collation centres and official figures from the electoral umpire.
Chairman of the party, Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey said: “Considering the closeness of the polls, this error is very significant and goes to the heart of the credibility of the results. Indeed, we have enough concrete evidence to show that the 2012 presidential election was won by our candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.”
CODEO, local observers affirm polls outcome
Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), which conducted a Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) during the polls, at a briefing in Accra by its joint leaders, Professor Miranda Greenstreet and Justice V. Crabbe, said the official results announced by the electoral commission accurately reflected the ballots cast by voters at all the designated polling stations.
Jonathan congratulates Mahama
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated President Mahama on his victory in last weekend’s presidential elections inGhana.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, in a statement, yesterday, said President Jonathan welcomed President Mahama’s success in securing his people’s mandate for a full term in office, following his assumption of Presidential powers after the death of his predecessor in July 2012, as an endorsement by the Ghanaian electorate of his leadership and his party’s action plan for further socio-economic development and continued consolidation of democracy in the country.
According to the statement, “President Jonathan notes that the very keenly contested elections have been adjudged as free and fair by observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other international observers. On behalf of himself, the Government and people ofNigeria, President Jonathan salutes the people ofGhanafor the successful conduct of the polls.
“While calling on the victorious candidate and political party to extend a hand of partnership to the opposition, in the spirit of reconciliation and national progress, he enjoins all political leaders in Ghana to join hands with the government to collectively deepen democracy in the country in the overriding interest of continued peace, political stability and progress in their country” the statement added.
Dr Abati said President Jonathan assured the Ghanaian president of the continued support, cooperation and goodwill of the Federal Government and people ofNigeriafor his administration and the brotherly people ofGhana.
“President Jonathan looks forward to continuing to work and collaborate with President Mahama and his administration at bilateral and multilateral levels on issues of common interest toNigeriaandGhana” he concluded.