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Ghana high court upholds president's election victory

The Supreme Court of Ghana [official website] on Thursday upheld [press release] the disputed election of President John Mahama [campaign website] last year. Mahama won the election with 50.7 of the vote, getting 300,000 more votes than the opposition. The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) [party website], had challenged the narrow victory [JURIST report], claiming that it should be annulled on the grounds of fraud. Thursday's 5-4 decision dismissed the challenge by the NPP. The decision was delivered by Justice William Atuguba, president of the Supreme Court nine-member panel.

The allegations of fraud emerged after the December election last year. Though Mahama was declared the winner [AP report] of Ghana's December 7 election with 50.7 percent of the valid vote, opposition leaders declared that they had "serious reservations about the validity of what the Chairman of the Electoral Commission has done in declaring results that ... do not reflect the mandate of the required majority of the Ghanaian electorate." NPP leadership submitted a two-fold request [text] to the Returning Office of the President Elections. First, NPP asked for an audit of the verification machines "to establish that it tallies with Constituency Collated signed results," and second, it asked for an order to re-collate "the presidential ballot at the constituency level to help establish the credibility and accuracy" of the December 7 election. NPP's presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo [campaign website], finished second in the election with 47.74 percent of the electoral vote and encouraged all NPP members and his supporters to remain calm as they awaited today's verdict.

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