January 3, 2013: The Opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) filed a lawsuit challenging the results of Ghana's 2012 elections

On January 3, 2013, Ghana's main opposition political party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) filed a petition at the country's highest court, the Supreme Court, challenging the validity of the presidential election.

In papers filed earlier, the NPP says it will call up to 25 witnesses, as it seeks to overturn the 7 December 2012 presidential election, which they say was fraught with irregularities.

The NPP claims there were irregularities in the polls that saw President John Mahama polling 5,574,761 (50.70%), while the party's presidential candidate Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, had 5,248,898 of the valid votes cast, representing 47.74%.

After the results were announced, the NPP staged a number of protests rejecting the Electoral Commission's results, while promising to take legal action.

Nana Addo, his running mate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the party chairman were fronting the unprecedented lawsuit.

The party claimed, according to its own calculations, Nana Addo won 50.28% of the popular vote, with President Mahama coming second with 48.26%.

The NPP said they had identified diverse and flagrant violations of the statutory provisions and regulations governing the presidential polls, which substantially affected the outcome of the polls.

For instance they claimed the electoral commission permitted voting to take place in many polling stations without letting voters go through biometric verification, some signed documents reportedly had identical serial numbers and some presiding officers did not sign final outcomes of results.

The plaintiffs said when they added up all the voting anomalies countrywide, the number of irregularities amounted to 1,340,018, a figure significant enough to sway the results.

The electoral commission and President Mahama, the two respondents, had 21 days to respond to the petition.

"This case is not a personal one. There is a much more important issue which goes to the very heart of our democracy," Nana Addo told a press conference after lodging the suit.

"A lot of irregularities got to us, which showed that the election results were not satisfactory."

He said the NPP had alerted the electoral commission of the irregularities, they were told "you can go to court if you are not satisfied".

"We are strengthening democracy to ensure that the EC (Electoral Commission) knows it is responsible to the people. We are very confident that by the time the Supreme Court makes its pronouncement, democracy in the country would be stronger."