Ghana’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld President Nana Akufo-Addo’s election victory, rejecting a challenge by the opposition leader and runner-up John Mahama who had alleged irregularities in the election results, reported Africa News.
Ghana’s election commission declared Akufo-Addo as the winner of the December election with 51.59% votes, ahead of former President Mahama, who received 47.37% votes. Only 515,524 votes separated the two candidates.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah said all seven judges agreed on the ruling. He said the opposition did not come up with any evidence that alleged errors and corrections made by the Electoral Commission of Ghana affected the election outcome.
“We accordingly dismiss the petition as having no merit,” the Chief Justice said.
While international and local observers said the election in Ghana was generally calm, at least five people were reported to have been killed in violence on voting and counting day, according to police.
This was the third time that old political rivals Akufo-Addo and Mahama had faced each other, with equally close results in the previous two elections.
In 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo won with 53.8%. In 2012, John Mahama had 50.7% of the votes. At that time, Akufo-Addo challenged Mahama’s victory and appealed to Ghana’s Supreme Court to invalidate the results.
“The sun may have set on our hopes for the just-ended elections today but it will rise again tomorrow and will illuminate our path to a better outcome the next time around,” Mahama told party members in Accra after the court’s ruling was announced on Thursday.
Notably, Akufo-Addo is still facing a hung parliament as the ruling New Patriotic Party and the NDC have won 137 seats each in the Dec. 7 vote when lawmakers were also elected.
In related news, President Akufo-Addo on Monday became the world’s first recipient of a coronavirus vaccine from Covax, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free for poorer countries. The country launched its coronavirus vaccination drive on Tuesday with an aim to vaccinate 20 million people, or over 66% of its population, by the end of 2021.