Ghana’s Supreme Court is asking for final written arguments by the end of July in an opposition case challenging the 2012 election of President John Mahama. The court will rule in August on the petition to overturn the election in what is considered one of Africa’s most stable democracies. Just weeks after the December 7 election of John Mahama, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) went to the Supreme Court complaining of election irregularities. Mahama won in the first round with 50.7 percent of the vote in an election certified as free and fair by the election commission and the international community. But the NPP alleges fraud based on data from polling stations, including over voting and voting by people not registered by the new biometric finger printing system.
Those leading the petition are presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, his running mate, Mahamudu Bawumia, and the national chairman of the party, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey. The respondents are President John Mahama, Ghana’s Electoral Commission and the governing National Democratic Congress.
This is the first time the position of president is being challenged in Ghana, and some have questioned if it will undermine the country’s strong democracy. But some political experts said the legal action is actually a good sign of the country’s political maturity.