Ghana’s newly elected president John Mahama, faces a rocky start in his new role as the opposition party NPP (New Patriotic Party) boycott his inauguration, following accusations of election fixing.
After assuming the position of acting president following the death of Ghana’s former president John Atta Mills, President Mahama ran in last month’s election for a place as elected leader. However, following a very narrow victory over the NPP, his party was accused of vote falsification and fraud.In defiance, the NPP party announced they would boycott the inauguration ceremony, in order to voice their protest against the election process, which took place in December.
Speaking to a local newspaper, NPP spokesman Perry Okudzeto said:
“We don’t see why we should be part of the swearing-in of an ill-elected president.”
Election translation services also reported that 40 New Patriotic Party supporters charged the home of former NPP President John Kufuor, in order to prevent him from attending the ceremony.
Mr Kufuor rejected any attempts to prevent him from attending the ceremony, stating that accusations of his betrayal are made only by those ‘following their own emotions.’
Of his attendance at the President’s inauguration, Mr Kufuor said:
“Leadership comes with lots of responsibility so if I am called to a function by people who made me president some time back, who am I to decline?”
The scandal lies in the results that show President Mahama won the election by just 300,000 votes. The NPP party contested the result from the outset calling the election process an attempt ‘to discredit democracy in Ghana.’
The opposition took their case to the Supreme Court, calling into question 1,340,000 votes from the election, which would be enough to change the outcome and make NPP leader Nana Akufo-Adda President, who had previously lost out to Mahama by just 3% of the votes.
The NPP’s case in the Supreme Court draws upon their evidence from the election that shows unregistered voters casting ballots, and a supposed falsification of results, particularly from the constituencies of Saveluga and Dome Kwabenya.
Sources: BBC News