12 December 2012

Ghana: African Press Review 12 December 2012

The situation in Ghana is making front page news as far away as Kenya, whose own politics are getting really complicated. And there are harsh words at peace talks in DRC.

The main story in the Nairobi-based Daily Nation reads "Defiant Ghana opposition vows to challenge vote results".

The small print explains that Ghana's main opposition candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday refused to accept presidential election results giving victory to the incumbent, John Dramani Mahama. Akufo-Addo has vowed to challenge the result in court.

Speaking at a rally of several hundred people in the capital, Accra, Akufo-Addo urged supporters to remain peaceful. He denounced the results, saying his New Patriotic Party (NPP) had observed a "pattern of fraud" in the election.

The 68-year-old human rights lawyer and son of a former president also said "We are not going to retreat from the stance we have taken."

"We are going to put ourselves in the hands of the Supreme Court judges," he added.

The front page of the privately owned Ghanaian daily, The Chronicle, is dominated by a headline claiming "The vote is stolen".

The story says that, as President John Dramani Mahama was conducting his victory rally in Accra yesterday, the temperature in the opposition New Patriotic Party was reaching boiling point.

The NPP issued what it called a summary from the Red Sheet of collated figures from the presidential election in 10 constituencies, indicating that Mahama had been fraudulently credited with as many as 52,483 votes from nowhere.

The main story in sister paper the Daily Graphic says the New Patriotic Party has confirmed that it will challenge the outcome of last Friday's presidential election at the Supreme Court.

The party contends that the outcome of the poll was flawed, having been allegedly manipulated in favour of the National Democratic Congress candidate, John Mahama.

The NPP says it has ample evidence to prove its allegation and has given the evidence to the party's legal team.

Subsequently, the party will decide on the date of the appeal.

Back to Kenya, where the political climate has its own sources of turbulence.

The headline in the Nairobi-based Standard reads "Storm in Uhuru-Ruto coalition over Ngilu".

The story explains that confusion reigned over Water Minister Charity Ngilu's return to the Jubilee coalition after the chiefs of the three main allied parties denounced her membership and eligibility for the coalition's presidential nomination on Tuesday.

It's a confusing story, since Ngilu has changed sides several times in the past few days. First she was with the Uhuru team. Last week she switched to Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Coalition for Reforms and Democracy before crossing back to Uhuru's side again this week.

Ngilu yesterday insisted she was in the nomination race for the Jubilee presidential ticket alongside deputy prime ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru even though coalition officials were saying she isn't in the race and is not even a member.

The Daily Nation reports that the Jubilee Alliance has said the National Rainbow Coalition party leader Charity Ngilu will not participate in its presidential primaries.

Party officials said that a new pre-election coalition could not be formed as the 4 December deadline had passed.

The Jubilee Alliance has enough on its plate already. According to the agreement signed by the three alliance parties, Kenyatta and Mudavadi are to battle it out for the coalition's presidential ticket while William Ruto will be the running-mate. Whoever loses the presidential nomination will be the leader of the majority in the next parliament, always assuming the alliance wins a majority in the next lower house.

In a separate story, the Nation reports that Ngilu has explained why she turned her back on the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, accusing leaders Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka of betrayal.

Ngilu on Monday urged National Rainbow Coalition supporters to be patient as she negotiated a deal with the Jubilee Alliance. With an honesty rare in political life, she said the deal with Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi offered richer pickings than the Cord proposal. But that was before the latest move by the trio to exclude her from the presidential carve-up.

The Daily Monitor in Uganda reports that the Congolese Government delegation to international peace talks yesterday hit back at the M23 rebels, accusing them of committing "heinous" crimes in the eastern DRC.

The Congolese Foreign Affairs Minister said the rebels were guilty of, among other crimes murder, rape, torture and looting. The rebel delegation, which boycotted an earlier session on Monday, listened quietly as Raymond Tshibanda read out what he called a "litany" of human rights violations committed by the rebels.

He said the rebels were working closely with and were still being led by individuals indicted and wanted by the International Criminal Court for human rights violations, particularly General Bosco Ntaganda and Colonel Sultan Makenga.

On the opening day of the talks, the leader of the M23 delegation accused Kinshasa of discriminating against Kinyarwanda speaking Congolese nationals in the east of the country and denying the region services.

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