The Republic of Ghana lies in the western part of Africa. It is considered the model of modern democracy on the continent. But it is not an Island. Ghana share common boundaries with Burkina Faso to the North, Togo to the East and Ivory Coast to the West.
Her citizens and residents are mere mortals just as those of other countries on the continent of Africa. It is therefore crucial to observe what has happened to other countries on the continent especially those that share common boundary with Ghana if this country really wants to defend her enviable image in terms of democracy and conduct of elections.
Ghana has successfully held another election. The outcome though touted by both Local and International observers to be credible, the Opposition Leader Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo is in the Supreme Court challenging the credibility of the results.
What is currently happening in Ghana is not new to the continent of Africa; challenging election results.
The situation in Ivory Coast two (2) years ago is still fresh in the minds of the Ghanaian people.
Any decision by any Institution in Ghana other than the Independent Electoral Commission to declare a winner of a Presidential Election could put Ghana in the ‘Ivorian Complications’ before the International Community. This is likely so because, the similarities of the dynamics in Ivory Coast after their elections in December 2010 to that of Ghana is glaring.
WHAT HAPPENED IN IVORY COAST?
1. President Lauren Gbagbo contested with the Opposition Leader Alassane Ouattara in a second round election.
2. The Ivorian Independent Electoral Commission headed by Youssouf Bakayoko declared Alassane Ouattara winner of the election with 54.1% of the votes against 45.9% for Laurent Gbagbo.
3. The turnout for the elections was 81.09% of registered voters.
4. The International Community hailed the elections and backed the Independent Electoral Commission’s declaration. The African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations (UN), France, United States of America (USA), New Patriotic Party (NPP) of Ghana and local observers all supported the Independent Electoral Commission’s declaration.
5. Lauren Gbagbo rejected the results and called for the cancellation of votes from seven (7) Northern Regions.
6. On December 3, 2010, the Constitutional Council of Ivory Coast led by Justice Paul Yao N’Dre declared Lauren Gbagbo winner. The Constitutional Council announced that the results in seven (7) Northern Regions were cancelled and on that basis declared the outcome narrowly in favour of Gbagbo who was credited with 51.45% while Alassane Ouattara had 48.55%.
7.Double Victory Claims emerged but Alassane Ouattara who was declared winner by the Independent Electoral Commission had the clear backing of the International Community and Regional Community for his claim to victory.
8.The Regional Community with the support of the International Community used a maximum Military Force to stand by the Independent Electoral Commission’s declaration until Alassane was confirmed President of Ivory Coast.
WHAT IS CURRENTLY HAPPENING IN GHANA
1. President John Mahama contested with the Opposition Leader Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo in a first run election.
2. The Ghanaian Independent Electoral Commission headed by Dr. Afari Gyan has declared President John Mahama winner of the election with 50.70% of the votes against 47.74% for Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo.
3. The turnout for the elections was 80.15% of registered voters.
4. The International Community has hailed the elections and backed the Independent Electoral Commission’s declaration. The African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations (UN), China, United States of America (USA), President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, Japan etc. and local observers have supported the Independent Electoral Commission’s declaration.
5. President John Mahama has been sworn into office by the Chief Justice of Ghana as the legitimate President of the Republic of Ghana. This was done before the Parliament of Ghana as required by law.
6. Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo has rejected the results and has called for the cancellation of votes from over 4,700 polling stations mostly from the Northern Regions and Volta Region.
7. Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo is fighting in Court for him to be declared the winner of the December 2012 election. He has petitioned the Supreme Court of Ghana to announce that the results from over 4,700 polling stations are invalid and on that basis declare the outcome narrowly in favour of him who would be credited with 50.28% while President John Mahama would get 48.26%.
8. Double Victory Claims is likely to emerge should the Supreme Court endorse the Petitioner’s claim but President John Mahama who was declared winner by the Independent Electoral Commission would have the clear backing of the International Community and Regional Community for his claim to victory.
The Irony of Politics
When the crisis in Ivory Coast was getting to its crescendo, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo demonstrated their support for Alassane Ouattara, the Independent Electoral Commission’s declared winner.
The NPP held a press conference in January 2011 to call on the then President of Ghana, John Atta Mills (late) to contribute Military personnel to ECOWAS in order to forcefully remove Lauren Gbagbo because it was a Constitutional Council that declared him (Gbagbo) the winner and not the Independent Electoral Commission.
It is important to highlight the point that the NPP at the time believed that when an Electoral Commission declares an election results, not much could be done by anybody.
Again, on November 19, 2012, Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo in an address to some ex-security officers and civilians on the theme: “Maintaining Peace and Security” in Koforidua said: “We do not want see a Laurent Gbagbo here in Ghana”.
He was advising President John Mahama not to use any institution to subvert the will of the people if the Electoral Commission declares election 2012 in his (Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo) favour.
So who is behaving like Laurent Gbagbo in Ghana?
The NPP should blame Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo for their defeat. He campaigned from December 2007 to December 2012 only for President Mahama to use four (4) months to beat him in a first round victory. Why?
Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo lost the elections partly to his utterances, attitude towards the Ghanaian and posture towards the elections.
“Hot-headedness often begets unpardonable defeat” a quote from Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe (an ardent supporter of the NPP).
The NDC presented a candidate who was sober in his utterances, lively in appearance and peaceful in posture.
The begging question: what would the International Community and Regional Community do in the case of Ghana if the Supreme Court changes the verdict of the Ghanaian people?