Ghana’s ruling NDC wins Supreme Court motion to join election petitionSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 23/01/2013 9:15 am in World / no comments
ACCRA, Jan. 22 — The Supreme Court of Ghana, by a 6-3 majority decision, ruled here Tuesday in favor of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be joined in an election petition brought against President John Dramani Mahama and the Electoral Commission (EC).
This paves the way for the West African country’s Supreme Court to empanel judges to hear the substantive case in which some top leaders of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are urging the Court to nullify the presidential election results declared by the EC on Dec. 9, 2012. Nana Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the NPP in the December 2012 elections, his running-mate Mahamudu Bawumia, and party Chairman Jake Okanta Obetsebi-Lamptey petitioned the Supreme Court late last month challenging the result of the presidential polls.
They cited irregularities which they claimed resulted in illegal voting or vote counting to the tune of over 1.3 million of the total votes cast, thus enabling President Mahama to win the election.
Moving the motion in court last Wednesday, lead counsel for the ruling party, Tsatsu Tsikata, argued that since President Mahama was not an independent candidate but stood on the party’s platform, the NDC was an interested party, as any decision the Supreme Court arrived at would affect the party.
Tsikata therefore prayed the court to allow his client to join the petition as a respondent because the President Mahama’s photograph was displayed together with the name and symbol of the NDC.
While Tony Lithur, counsel for the President, associated himself with the NDC’s application for joinder praying the court to grant it, the EC was indifferent, leaving it to the discretion of the court.
Lead counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison, however objected to the application, arguing that it would unduly delay the hearing of the substantive case.
The NDC will now have to file its response to the substantive case, seven days after receipt of service of the ruling on the application.
The EC has rejected the claims by the petitioners, maintaining that the election results were credible, while the president accused the petitioners of attempting to subvert the will of the people of Ghana.