Election Petition: MPs Pledge to abide by verdict

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Members of Parliament have pledged to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court on the election petition.

They have also agreed to collaborate to address the numerous problems which confront the nation, now that the matter has been brought to closure.

 In interviews with the Daily Graphic, MPs on the side of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) expressed their disappointment but said they had no choice but to respect the decision.

Members on the side of the Majority, however, were elated and said the ruling was in line with their long-held position that the President, Mr John Mahama, was duly elected and that the 2012 general election, although faced some challenges, was largely free, fair and transparent.

The member for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah (NPP), said he was looking forward to reading the judgement to ascertain why the judges ruled the way they did and how the decisions they arrived at would impact on future elections.

The fact that the decision of the court was not unanimous, in his opinion, was a pointer to the fact that the NPP’s case was not frivolous or vexatious.

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“I urge all our supporters to stand firm. The decision we took to go to court was in line with our party’s philosophy. It was in line with our belief in the rule of law,” he said.

The outcome of the petition, in his view, would strengthen the resolve of the NPP to be more vigilant in subsequent elections.

On relations between the two major parties in Parliament, Papa Owusu Ankomah said although the Minority refused to partake in the vetting of appointees of President Mahama, it had collaborated effectively with the Majority on all other issues and added that members on the side of the NPP would continue to co-operate with the NDC to confront the challenges facing the nation.

The member for Nhyiaeso, Dr Richard Anane (NPP), said with the ruling of the court, all Ghanaians, including members of the NPP, should consider the President, John Mahama, as having been duly elected and accord him all the respect he deserved.

He considered the verdict as “the divine will of the Lord” and urged all members of the NPP to respect the decision and “let Ghana live”.

“As a party, we believe in the rule of law, that is why we resorted to the courts. We must all go by the decision of the courts. All members of the NPP must calm down,” he said.

The Member for Ashaiman and Deputy Majority Leader (NDC), Mr Alfred Agbesi, described the decision of the court as welcome news “which we have all along expected”.

“The country can now have peace. John Mahama can now have peace and run the nation.

For eight months now the country has been at a standstill as a result of this case. From now we are going to work,” he said.

He advised NDC members to jubilate in moderation.

The member for Asawase and Majority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak (NDC), said all Ghanaians needed to be congratulated on not resorting to violence but using the most civilised means to resolve the electoral dispute.

Now, he said, the government could concentrate on solving the myriad of problems which confronted Ghanaians such as lack of potable water supply and power shortages.

He called for an end to the “winner-takes-all” politics being practised in the country, “so that all can participate”.

He said MPs, when the House resumes sitting, needed to consider amendments to the 1992 Constitution to address the issue.

Alhaji Muntaka said the narrow election margins experienced in the last few years were perhaps a pointer to the fact that Ghanaians wanted a united government.

By Mark-Anthony Vinorkor/Daily Graphic/Ghana