An aide of the Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), James Agyenim-Boateng, has told all persons stampeding the party executives to go to court over the results of the just-ended elections following the refusal of John Dramani Mahama to concede defeat that the main opposition party is still within the time limit set out under the law.
Article 64 (1) of the 1992 Constitution says “the validity of the election of the President may be challenged only by a citizen of Ghana who may present a petition for the purpose to the Supreme Court within twenty-one days after the declaration of the result of the election in respect of which the petition is presented”.
To that end and given that the final results were declared by the Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, on Wednesday, December 9, the NDC has up until Wednesday, December 30 to file any petition at the Supreme Court to challenge the results.
In a tweet, Mr. Agyenim-Boateng, who is a former Deputy Minister of Information, said: “As for those who shout themselves hoarse ‘go to court, go to court’, the commonsensical thing to note is that the NDC still is within the time limited for commencing any such legal action.”
Several groups, researchers, observers, political party leaders, foreign diplomats have asked the NDC and its three-time presidential candidate to go to court if they disagree with the results of the elections.
Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, for instance, has said Mr. Mahama is destroying his international reputation following his refusal to accept defeat after the elections and also failing to indicate whether or not he will go to court to seek redress.
Dr. Aketwey explained on the Key Points programme on TV3 Saturday, December 19 that Mr. Mahama was able to build a good image for himself within the international community when he accepted the results of the 2016 elections and also helped Gambia and other West African countries to deal with issues affecting elections and outcomes and acceptance.
But, in his view, the conduct of Mr. Mahama after the 2020 elections is eroding all these gains.
“The call on members of the NDC to demonstrate must be recognized and respected but it also has to be exercised within the law so that the Police will provide them the protection they need and agent provocateurs won’t get in and so on.”
Also, a Deputy Attorney General, Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, said on the same show that the street protests by the main opposition NDC against the results of the 2020 general elections, which the party lost, will not achieve anything.
He explained that the constitution of the Republic of Ghana spells out what an aggrieved person in an election should do in the event the person disagrees with the results of an election as declared by the Electoral Commission.
The outgoing Member of Parliament for Tempane told host Abena Tabi: “The argument of the NDC is that the winner should have been His Excellency former President John Mahama. That was not granted by the EC. The EC went ahead to declare what were the set of facts to them after collation of all the 275 constituencies across the country.
“At that stage, when you are aggrieved by the conduct of the Electoral Commission and you want the results overturned, the streets will not assist you to overturn the results. Let us get that fundamentally right.
“If they think that genuinely they have a case that is why everybody is saying if you want the election results as has been gazette to change in your favour, the only forum where you can state your grievances and get the issues dealt with will be the Supreme Court properly constituted.”
US Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan met with former president Mahama barely a week after he rejected results
The US Ambassador also met Mr. Mahama’s running mate in the elections, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, at the meeting on Thursday, December 17.
The US envoy is said to have urged not only the 2020 Presidential Candidate and Vice Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but also all political parties “to pursue legal channels for any electoral disputes and to preserve the peace in Ghana”.