The Supreme Court of Ghana ruled today, 29 August, 2013, that the country's president was validly elected in presidential elections late last year, a highly anticipated judgment in what's been described as the biggest legal battle in Ghana's history.
After President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won the December election with 50.70 percent of the votes, beating his main challenger Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who polled 47.7 percent of the votes, the opposition NPP challenged the results arguing that there were gross and widespread irregularities at more than 10,000 polling stations.
The judges unanimously dismissed their petition today, according to GhanaDecides, an initiative that works to better inform the electorate. The verdict raised mixed reactions within the Ghanaian online community.
GhanaDecides (@GhanaDecides) tweeted from the courtroom just few minute before the pronouncement:
— Ghana Decides (@GhanaDecides) August 29, 2013
Laura Frempong (@Lauriedat) described the peaceful silence just before the pronouncement of the verdict:
— Laurie Frempong (@Lauriedat) August 29, 2013
Some Ghanaians cracked jokes to ease the tension, such as Kobbie (djkobbie):
Mahama himself (@JDMahama), who immediately prior to the elections had served as vice president, then president for four months when his predecessor died, commented on the verdict moments after it was handed down:
Writer Jemila Abdulai (jabdulai) noted the brevity of the court's pronouncement:
African and world literature blogger Kinna (@kinnareads) tweeted about the acceptance of the verdict by the opposition leader, Nana Addo Dankwa:
— Kinna (@kinnareads) August 29, 2013
IamAKAKPO (@Devyphylx) ridiculed international media in his tweet:
Patrick Quantson (@PatrickQuantson) disagreed with the judgment of the court:
Blogger Claudia Andrews (@Claudieandrea) advised:
Now that the verdict on the #electionpetition has been given, we can now focus on more pressing issues.
— Claudia Andrews (@claudieandrea) August 29, 2013
Ekow (@ekowmaisse) advised the electoral commission to reform the system:
One thing was very clear from the #ElectionPetition and that is Ghana's electoral system need to change. There need to be electoral reforms.
— Ekow (@EkOwMaIsSe) August 29, 2013