Ghana police ban all post-poll opposition protests in capital

A woman washes her hands before voting at a polling station in Accra, Ghana, Dec. 7, 2020. Polls opened in all 16 regions across Ghana early Monday for eligible voters to elect new political leaders for the country. The Ghana Electoral Commission (EC) said 17,029,981 eligible voters are expected to participate in Ghana's eighth general election since the country returned to multi-party democracy in 1992. (Xinhua/Xu Zheng)
A woman washes her hands before voting at a polling station in Accra, Ghana, Dec. 7, 2020. (Xinhua/Xu Zheng)

The Ghana Police Service issued a court order earlier this week banning protests including protests by the opposition following a spike in the post-election demonstration in the capital Accra.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) confirmed the ban on protests in a statement that read in part, “The prohibition order follows an affidavit filed by the police upon receipt of notification from the Greater Accra regional chairman of the NDC Kobina Ade Coker on intended daily protests in Accra and all constituencies across the region.”

Photo image from NDC Ghana/Twitter

The NDC had intended daily protests between December 20 and January 10.

According to the statement, “The request by the NDC cannot obviously be met by the police in view of ongoing post-election and multi-faceted security operations for the festive season and beyond.”

The NDC is protesting what it says is a wrongdoing on the part of the Electoral Commission following the conduct of the December 7 general elections in which President Akufo-Addo, the ruling New Patriotic Party, NPP, the candidate was declared the winner of the presidential poll.

According to the commission, President Akufo-Addo beat former President John Dramani Mahama by gaining over 51% of valid votes cast.

The NDC disputes the result and Mahama has called for an audit of the polls whiles refusing to concede.

The banning of the protests has been criticized as setting the country back on the respect for and protection of individual freedoms.

However, others have stressed that the ban was a necessary measure to maintain security.

The NDC hinted that it will file an election petition to challenge the electoral commission declaration.

Preparations for the swearing of President Akufo-Addo and the new parliament on January 7 are still underway.

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