Opposition Challenges Election Results in Ghana

Yesterday at 5 PM the main opposition party came out of their closed doors meeting with the message that they will challenge the election results as presented by the Electoral Commission on Sunday. However, this was not exactly news.

The party never conceded defeat and since Sunday afternoon, when a press conference was held by the opposition New Patriotic Party asking the EC to wait with announcing the results until a review of some detected anomalies had been done, we all knew they were not going to accept the results. Later on Sunday, a meeting was held with the EC at the EC premises with the opposition, the party in power, National Democratic Congress, and the National Peace Council. Before the meeting was over, the results were declared (Wayan calls it the Facebook tipping point, by the way) and then a press conference followed. However, that press conference also told us NPP were not going to accept the results as they remarkably were not present.

So, back to last night: 30 minutes after the message from NPP, I get a Google Alert that Swedish media is writing something on Ghana – and there it is “opposition challenges election results in court”. Now the world is discussing this, and still I don’t really know what to think, hence I thought I’d ask some Ghanaian friends on their view of the intended appeal:

Friend 1: Oh, they are just sore losers, we all knew this was going to happen. Don’t worry. The case will take forever and it won’t change a thing. Well, maybe except for Ghana’s reputation of a beacon of hope for African democracy.

Friend 2: It’s great they are going to court, this is a real addition to our democracy. Look at us, no violence on the streets, going through the correct channels, discussing this thing peacefully. I am sure the opposition is doing the right thing, keeping silent would have been wrong.

Friend 3: This is so typical, first its all peace this, peace that, now nobody involved cares about Ghana, only about themselves. I’m sure Ghana in the end has to foot the bill for the court costs!

Friend 4: What? They said they are going to court? I thought they said they were going to think about it? I always thought they’d come out and say “we have discovered some irregularities, but we will not open any case, here is the evidence, we should improve our system for next election year”. They would save face, we would all win. Actually, this is still an option as they haven’t taken it to court yet!

Friend 5: Where is the government in all of this? They should come out and spur the investigations into this on, I mean else they will be seen as trying to hide something or taking power from the people. They have the most to loose, so they should act!

Apparently, election season is not yet over. What do you think of the opposition’s decision to challenge the results of the election in court?