31 December 2012

Ghana: Jonathan, 10 Heads of State for Mahama's Inauguration - Opposition NPP May Shun Event

About a week to the January 7 swearing-in of Ghana's President-elect, John Dramani Mahama, 11 Heads of state including President Goodluck Jonathan, have confirmed their participation in the historic event.

Delegations are also expected from 18 governments across the world have confirmed their participation in the inauguration of the President-elect, John Dramani Mahama, on January 7, 2013.

World leaders expected include 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.

Presidential Transition Team Spokesperson, Mr. James Agyenim-Boateng, reportedly said in Accra that "all is set for the inaugural ceremony on January 7" and invitations had been extended to 50,000 guests world-wide.

Work on the ceremonial ground, he disclosed would begin Wednesday(January 2) and will be completed on January 5.

Mr. Agyenim-Boateng said the team had received all hand-over notes from ministers and government appointees.

Opposition NPP may shun event

Meanwhile, there were indications that opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) may shun the event on account of alleged irregularities that marred the polls over which it filed a petition at the Supreme Court on December 29.

NPP Director of Communications, Nana Akomea, said the party was yet to confirm whether or not it would attend the inauguration of President Mahama on Saturday. If it fails to attend, it would be the first time a main opposition party is shunning the inauguration of a president-elect since the return of democracy in 1992.

Akomea noted that he was uncertain the party would send representatives to the event. However, he said the party's decision would be informed by legal advice, saying they would attend if their presence would not invalidate their case before the Supreme Court. "If lawyers so advise that your presence there when you believe that the whole process is based on an illegality and your presence there compromises you, the legal opinion will hold sway".

Meanwhile, NPP Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo told journalists after the filing the challenge with the Supreme Court that the alleged discrepancies were too large to ignore.

"The scale of what we have uncovered has surprised even the skeptical among us," he said. "Personally, it has been a sad experience."

Akufo-Addo has refused to concede defeat in the December 7 election despite official results showing him with 47.7 per cent against Mahama's 50.7 per cent. The NPP allegations involve around 1.3 million votes - enough to tip the balance in favour of Akufo-Addo.

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