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Opinions of Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Columnist: Ahmed, Mustapha

Creating a Crisis

No one disputes the right of the NPP to dispute the results of the recent elections. In fact, the essence of a democracy is the freedom to question our government. It is healthy and shows our people and the world that we are not afraid of dissent and that we question that which we believe to be unfair. However, one has to wonder whether or not there is another goal to this lawsuit. All of our elections have had disputes and in fact, that is the nature of free and transparent elections. The recent elections of our friends across the Atlantic Ocean were filled with disputes as well. The difference is, all parties realized that what democracy values above all else, is stability.

What is happening in the name of fairness and transparency is an activity apparently designed to undermine the stability and the credibility of the government of Ghana. Again, no one questions the right of any candidate to ask for a review of an election. In most countries there is a minimum threshold which has to be crossed before such a review is automatically mandated. In almost all cases it is either a set amount of votes that separate the two candidates such as 1,000 or 1,500 or it is a percentage such as half a percent or less.

In those cases, the loser is entitled to an automatic recount if he so chooses. This is not the case in Ghana and it is certainly not the case being prosecuted by the NPP. President Mahama won the election by three percent not one half percent and President Mahama won the election by over 350,000 votes. Thus, we can only conclude that there has to be an ulterior motive ascribed to this effort to decertify the results of an election that has been praised by election observers as transparent and fair.

That motive becomes clear when we look at what is happening in the Supreme Court. The focus has NOT been on legal issues; the focus has been on questioning the integrity of the judicial system on which our democracy lies. The focus has been on disqualifying judges who NPP believes do not have the ability to rule impartially. In fact, every judge has activities in his or her past that could be manipulated to construe a lack of impartiality. By attacking judges who NPP believes have NDC ties, they know that the NDC legal team will then challenge those judges who have NPP ties.

And when that happens, everyone in Ghana begins to question the legal system. Their goal is to destroy the credibility of one of the three branches of government, the one branch that is supposed to be the ultimate arbiter of disputes in Ghana. When people no longer have faith that the referee of a soccer game is honest and fair, what happens? The fans rebel by throwing garbage onto the field and rioting.

One can only conclude therefore that the ultimate goal of the NPP suit is to destabilize Ghana and to call into question the very fabric on which our country was built. Such a goal is dangerous to the health of our nation, to Africa and to the world. The people of Ghana will realize this is a ruse to create instability, to create anger not peace and most important to sow the seeds of discontent so that it becomes impossible for President Mahama to govern effectively. If the NPP truly believes in what is best for Ghana, it will immediately cease this senseless attack on the judiciary and the government.

Mustapha Ahmed MBA, MS

Former General Secretary North America NDC (NACC)