General News of Saturday, 13 April 2013
The governing National Democratic Congress’s UK and Ireland branch has described as “hoodlums” and “hooligans”, the Ghanaians who took part in a demonstration on Friday, April 12, 2013, in London to protest the “delay in hearing of the election petition case”, which is currently before the Supreme Court.
The NDC’s UK and Ireland branch, in a statement signed by Public Relations Officer, Alex Seshie-Vanderpuije, described as “botched”, the demonstration by the group which called itself “Concerned Ghanaians Against Electoral Fraud”.
It claimed only “a handful of NPP UK activists and surrogates” took part in the demonstration led by the party’s UK Chairman, Hayford Atta Krufi.
The demonstrators took to the streets outside the Ghana Mission in Belgrave Square, South-West London, to deliver a petition to the Ghana High Commissioner to the UK, Prof Kwaku Danso- Boafo.
The group said its protest march was in connection with “the subversion of Ghana’s Constitution through electoral fraud perpetuated during the recent general elections in Ghana”.
It also intended to attract international attention to the case.
Opposition presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and his running mate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as well as the party’s Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey are in court challenging the results of Ghana’s 2012 presidential election.
They argue the election was manipulated by the incumbent NDC with the collusion of the country’s Electoral Commission.
The demonstrators however contend that the court is not showing enough urgency in disposing off the case.
They borrowed a limb from East African country Kenya which got entangled in a similar election debacle dealt with the case in less than two weeks.
Kenya’s Supreme Court upheld the results which declared Uhuru Kenyatta as President–elect in the March 4 hotly contested election with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who, like Ghana’s opposition Leader Nana Akufo Addo, claimed there were several irregularities.
Ghana’s governing party’s UK and Ireland branch however doubts the motive behind the demonstration organised by the “Concerned Ghanaians Against Electoral Fraud”.
It said: “Prior to the Friday’s event, the Chairman of NPP UK and Ireland Branch who spoke to some pro NPP media houses in London ahead of the event, issued a scare mongering press statement that a Coup D’état was imminent in Ghana if the government of John Dramani Mahama does not take steps to reverse the so called harsh conditions Ghanaians were going through”.
It questioned: “why Chairman Atta Krufi and his bunch of hooligans and hoodlums took to the streets in London when their leaders back in Ghana have petitioned the courts to address the so-called electoral fraud which they claimed to have been perpetuated during the December 2012 elections”.
“What do they hope to achieve by these reckless and hot headed actions in a far away country, especially in the UK, when the United Kingdom government and the international community had already given legitimacy to the administration of President John Dramani Mahama,” the NDC wondered.
It accused the NPP of adopting every means–“fair or foul –to intimidate the very institutions of state handling their petition”.