Tension in Ghana ahead of court election verdict
Security will be tight around the Accra court house on 29 August ahead of the supreme court's ruling on the validity of last December's election which saw John Dramani Mahama of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) returned as president.
The lengthy legal case was taken by Mahama's main political rival Nano Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who received 47.7 per cent of the vote against Mahami's 50.7 per cent, as declared by Ghana’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
The NPP is contesting the 7 December result which it claims was rigged by the NDC and electoral commission staff.
Akufo-Addo's party contends that there were widespread “voting irregularities” and says it has "enough concrete evidence" to prove that Akufo-Addo was the true winner of the presidential election.
Mahama's job is at stake ahead of the landmark ruling on 29 August, although should the result go against him it is not known whether the judges would automatically declare Akufo-Addo the nation's validly-elected leader.
None of the courts in the Accra courthouse will sit that day, wary of the potential for violence following the announcement of the eagerly-awaited findings, and police have warned the public not to come within a 100-m radius of the court buildings.
The US embassy in Accra has warned its citizens living in Ghana of the "potential increase in political tensions" during this "politically-sensitive period."
Immediately after the December poll, the electoral process was declared free and fair by international observers including the region's Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).