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General News of Tuesday, 20 June 2017


This could have been my second term - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said this could have been his second term in office had he and two others: Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (now Vice President) and Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey (late Chairman of the New Patriotic Party), had a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court after the 2012 disputed election results which they fought in court.

The apex court affirmed the Electoral Commission's pronouncement of Mr John Mahama as winner of that election election after eight months of litigation.

Nana Akufo-Addo, at the time, expressed disappointment and disagreement with the verdict but accepted it without pressing for a review.

"I disagree with the court's decision but I accept it and I ask all our supporters to accept the verdict," the 2012 presidential candidate at the time, who was the first petitioner in the case, told journalists at the precincts of the Supreme Court minutes after the verdict was read.

"I accept the decision but I'm saddened and disappointed by the verdict and I know many of our supporters are saddened too," he said, adding: "Ghana's election will never be the same again after this petition." "We have set precedence for generations to follow."

Making reference to the petition to drive home a point about the performance of the judiciary and the need to have trust in that arm of government, Nana Akufo-Addo told the august audience at the swearing-in ceremony of new Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo at the State Banquet on Monday, 19 June that: "Thus far, the Judiciary can be said, generally, to have discharged, in the Fourth Republic, its duties creditably and responsibly, even though I was on the wrong end of the decision in the famous election petition of 2013."

"A favourable decision on the day could have meant, perhaps, that this was my second term in office, rather than the commencement of my mandate.

"The attachment of the Ghanaian people to the rule of law made it possible for us, in the New Patriotic Party, to entrust our fate to the highest court in the land in the aftermath of the disputed elections of 2012.

"It also enabled the country to move on, in unity and stability, after the Court handed down its verdict," he said.

The President said the decision by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, who recently retired, to have the petition televised lived, strengthened Ghana's democracy.

"Ghanaian democracy was enhanced by the decision of then Chief Justice Georgina Wood to broadcast the proceedings of the petition on television. It helped in the process of demystifying judicial proceedings, and helped send the clear message from the majority on the court that the controlling principle of judicial intervention in elections was the result delivered at the polling station, which would not be easily reversed by a court. It is a salutary message," he noted.