General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia has told the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and their 2012 Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that the verdict of Kenya’s Election Petition is a sign that they will lose their 2012 Election Petition at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of Kenya on Saturday, March 30, 2013 ruled out a petition brought before it by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who lost the March 4 elections to Uhuru Kenyatta by about 8, 000 votes.
Speaking in an interview on Peace FM, an Accra-based radio station, after Kenya Chief Justice Willy Mutunga’s verdict, Mr Asiedu Nketia argued that NPP and Nana Addo trumpeted across the country that Kenya’s Odinga was following the footsteps of Nana Addo by filing a petition against the declaration of Mr Kenyatta as president.
“Therefore, if [Raila] Odinga has lost the petition, it should tell you what will be the verdict of NPP’s petition,” he added.
Mr Asiedu Nketia explained that prior to Kenya’s elections, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Chairman of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, was consulted on the organization of polls in the East African nation.
He observed that after learning from Ghana’s Electoral Commission, if a court has declared that all was well and that the elections were “free and fair”, then Ghana’s should be marked excellent.
“Ghana’s EC is noted worldwide,” he stressed.
Mr Asiedu Nketia was, however, worried Ghana’s election disputes are considered a normal litigation and so could drag on unnecessarily.
“For Kenya’s, one month was given for a special court to declare verdict,” he said.
He suggested that there should be a review of Ghana’s laws over election petitions, after the current one filed by Nana Addo, his 2012 election running mate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and their party’s chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
NPP’s General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie disagreed with his opposite number in the NDC, saying the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, cited Ghana’s Election Petition in a message to wish Kenyans well prior to their elections.
He noted Nana Addo’s example has stemmed election disputes on African streets and that most losing presidential candidates resort to the law courts in challenging results.
He also expressed concern that Kenya’s example of showing court proceedings live on television should be adopted in Ghana so that Ghanaians can follow the plot of the 2012 suit.
He said parties in Kenya prior to hearing of the petition pledged to accept any verdict and that is what Ghana’s parties including the NDC should do.