Former President John Dramani Mahama, Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election, says his decision to contest the 2020 presidential results is based on principles.
He said the decision would “remove all forms of doubt“about the presidential election result.
“Ghana must be a country where we, citizens know and believe, without any doubt whatsoever, that the way forward is determined by the will of the Ghanaian people. And that we can hold our institutions of state accountable and guarantee that they work in favour of the national interest and not in the interest of the administration or person in power,” Mr Mahama stated on Wednesday in a televised address to the nation.
“That is what I want. This is why earlier today, my lawyers filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Ghana challenging the declaration of the results of the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election made by Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission”.
Mr Mahama said, he had been compelled to do that because of “her clear failure to act in accordance with the Constitution”.
Mr Mahama said as a former President, he knew what it was to act in the interest of peace and that he had always done so without reservation or hesitation, assuring of a peaceful process at the court.
“I know what it is to contest an election, and to have the good people of this country choose my opponent to serve as their next president,” he said.
“I know what it is to concede. I have done so before. In 2016 when the election was not called in my favour, I conceded. I conceded in a congratulatory call to my opponent. And then, not long after that, I conceded in a public address to the good people of Ghana.”
Mr Mahama said, he conceded not simply in the interest of peace and democracy, but because he respected the will of the people; saying “I did then, and I do now”.
“So, when I say that I will not concede this election, please know that I have not taken this decision lightly; understand that it is not because of a desire for power, but because of a dedication to principle and a commitment to democracy,” he said.
“Based on the irregular and inconsistent results that were reported, I have reason to doubt that this election was free, or fair, or transparent.”
Mr Mahama said Ghana was a peaceful nation because Ghanaians had always stood on principle; adding that “We have always fought for our democracy”.
“Our history books are filled with the names of individuals who refused to take the road that was the easiest, or safest, or most convenient. They refused to surrender their ability to appeal for justice in a land where they were meant to have a voice and use it for the betterment of themselves and their children and future generations.”
He said all who fought for independence stood on principle to demand the sovereignty of the land that belonged to Ghanaians.
Mr Mahama recalled that in 2012 when the election was called in his favour, his opponent challenged the results- an effort, which reinforced commitment to our democracy and affirmed the strength of the institutions, particularly the judiciary.
“It is only in governments where the people are powerless, and at the mercy of those who hold office, that peace—or at least what passes as peace—can exist without justice,” he added.
“Some people have asked me what I hope to gain by challenging the results of this election.”
“Let me tell you: I want, perhaps, the very same thing that my opponent wanted when in 2012 he challenged the results of that election; I want the removal of doubt,” he said.
“I want for all of us to know that our elections should be free, fair, and safe—and that we do not have to settle for a process that leaves us confused, and with more questions than answers. I want a Ghana where institutions of state can be held to account. Where we can stand on principle and demand transparency without the risk of losing our lives.”