Former President John Dramani Mahama, the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the presidential elections of 7 December 2020, said his decision to run for president in 2020 was based on principles.

He stated that this decision would remove any doubt about the outcome of the presidential election.

Ghana must be a country where we, the citizens, know and believe without any doubt that the way forward is determined by the will of the Ghanaian people. And that we can hold our public institutions accountable and ensure that they work in the national interest and not in the interest of the government or the person in power, Mahama said in a televised address to the nation Wednesday.

That’s what I want. That is why my lawyers filed a petition today with the Supreme Court of Ghana to have the results of the 7th presidential elections declared. December 2020 by the chairman of the election commission, Ms. Jean Mensah.

Mr Kovalev said he had been forced to do so because of their apparent inaction under the Constitution.

Mr Mahama said that as a former president, he knew what it meant to act for peace and that he had always done so without reservation or hesitation in order to ensure a peaceful process.

I know what it’s like to run for election and see the good people of this country elect my opponent as their next president, he said.

I know what it means to give in. I’ve done it before. In 2016, when the elections were not in my favor, I gave in. I’ve congratulated my opponent. And then, shortly afterwards, I gave a public speech to the good people of Ghana.

Mr Mahama said that he had given in not only for the sake of peace and democracy, but also because he respected the will of the people: I did it then, and I’m doing it now.

So when I say that I’m not going to contest these elections, know that I didn’t take this decision lightly; understand that it’s not a lust for power, but a commitment to principles and a commitment to democracy.

Given the erratic and contradictory results that have been reported, I have reason to doubt whether these elections were free, fair or transparent.

Mahama said that Ghana is a peaceful nation because Ghanaians have always adhered to that principle, adding that we have always fought for our democracy, he noted.

Our history books are full of names of people who refused to choose the easiest, safest or most comfortable route. They have given up their ability to seek justice in a country where they must have a voice and use it for their own good, that of their children and future generations.

He said that all those fighting for independence essentially claim sovereignty over land belonging to Ghanaians.

Mr Mahama recalled that in 2012, when the elections were decided in his favour, his opponent disputed the outcome – efforts which strengthened the commitment to our democracy and reaffirmed the strength of the institutions, in particular the judiciary.

Only in such governments, where the people are powerless and at the mercy of those in power, can peace – or at least what kind of peace goes on – exist without justice, he added.

Some people have asked me what I hope to get out of taking part in this election.

Let me tell you something: I probably want the same thing my opponent wanted when he disputed the outcome of these 2012 elections; I want the doubt removed, he said.

I want us all to know that our elections should be free, fair and safe and that we should not be satisfied with a process that confuses us and with more questions than answers. I want a Ghana where government institutions can be held accountable. Where we can take a principled stand and demand transparency without risking our lives.

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