Ghana Presidential Inauguration to Proceed Despite Opposition
by Peter Clottey January 02, 2013
The inauguration of President John Dramani Mahama will go ahead as originally planned January 7, despite a court challenge by the main opposition party, according to a government official.
"The ground preparation, for example, has started two days ahead of time. All is on course and we are ensuring a very smooth wrap-up of the outgoing administration, so we can have an equally, clean transfer or power to the next administration of President Mahama on January 7," said James Agyenim-Boateng, spokesman for the presidential transition team.
He says 18 government delegations, including 11 heads of state, have confirmed their participation of the swearing-in ceremony.
Among the heads of state confirming their attendance are Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Mahamadou Isoufou of Niger, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire and African Union (AU) Chairman, President Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin Republic.
Agyenim-Boateng says Ghanaians are enthusiastic about next week's inauguration.
"There is a lot of excitement. Our expectation is that some 50,000 Ghanaians will be part of the inauguration," said Agyenim-Boateng.
But the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), citing alleged voting fraud, has refused to be part of the ceremony after rejecting Mahama's election victory.
The NPP has petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the result of the presidential election. The opposition party says it took that action after gathering voter data from more than 26,000 polling stations across the country.
Official results from the electoral commission show Mr. Mahama won 50.7 percent of the vote in a field of eight candidates, while Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo came in second with 47.7 percent.
Agyenim-Boateng says Mr. Mahama as well as his ruling National Democratic Congress welcomes the opposition's court challenge.
"The position of the president is that any challenge to our democratic arrangement is always for the good of the institutions of state, he said. "It clarifies the issues and it gives further and better particulars to all these challenges."
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