Opinion: John Mahama’s refusal to congratulate Akufo-Addo a dent on him

Opinion: John Mahama’s refusal to congratulate Akufo-Addo a dent on him

- Former President Mahama still has not congratulated the president despite the election petition outcome

- He petitioned the court to challenge the outcome of the 2020 elections

- But, the court dismissed his petition

Ghanaians on December 7, 2020, went to the polls to elect a president and members of Parliament.

After a successful exercise, the chairperson of the country’s Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, declared President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the winner of the presidential elections on December 9, 2020.

Mahama’s refusal to congratulate Akufo-Addo a dent on him
Mahama’s refusal to congratulate Akufo-Addo a dent on him...Photo credit: John Dramani Mahama
Source: Facebook

Per Mensa’s declaration, Akufo-Addo defeated former President John Dramani Mahama in the said election to secure another four-year term; collecting 51.302% of the votes cast against the latter’s 47.359%.

The votes difference between the two candidates stood at 517, 231, representing a four percentage point, one of the highest since 1996.

Mahama rejected the outcome of the elections and petitioned the Supreme Court, calling for the annulment of the results and a rerun ordered between him and the president.

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According to Mahama, no candidate crossed the 50 plus one mark.

The seven-member panel that sat on the election petition trial, however, said it cannot order a rerun of the 2020 presidential polls because the former president failed to adduce “cogent evidence” to back his claims that there was no winner in the December 7, 2020, presidential elections.

Ghanaians from all walks of life expected the former president to accept the outcome of the 2020 presidential elections and congratulate President Akufo-Addo following the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the latter’s victory.

But, Mahama did not, a grave departure from what transpired in 2013 when the president, then-candidate Akufo-Addo, lost his challenge to Mahama’s 2012 electoral victory at the Supreme Court.

Akufo-Addo during a press conference to react to the Supreme Court’s judgment expressed his dissatisfaction with the outcome but accepted it. He also announced during that presser that he called then-President Mahama and congratulated him.

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“It is not too late for Mr. John Mahama to call President Akufo-Addo, whose emphatic 2020 election victory has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, to congratulate him.

“It is on account of this that the NPP is calling on the former President to do the needful in the collective interest of our nation,” the governing New Patriotic Party stated in a statement signed by its General Secretary, John Boadu.

The refusal of the former president to admit defeat in the 2020 presidential elections despite the judgment of the Supreme Court is disturbing.

As a former president and a beneficiary of a similar Supreme Court verdict in 2013, the refusal of Mahama to congratulate Akufo-Addo leaves a dark spot on him.

“It is disheartening the stance taken by the former president,” David Agala told me. “I expected a lot from him as a statesman.”

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