The Court might say one of three things:

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  1. Nana Addo was validly elected;
  1. Nana Addo was not validly elected.

Rather, John Mahama was validly elected;

  1. Nana Addo was not validly elected. However, no candidate procured the necessary 50%+1.

Each potential outcome will have its own consequential orders that are described in more detail in this article dated July 20, 2013 (…/What-Should-Happen-When…).

If the Court hands down outcome (a), John Mahama should immediately call President Nana Addo to concede and to congratulate him for his victory. He must also pledge his support for the President and ask his supporters to do the same.

President Nana Addo should probably invite ex President John Mahama to the Jubilee house the next day.

If the Court hands down outcome (b), the role should be reversed. In that case, Nana Addo should immediately call John Mahama to concede, to congratulate him for his victory and to pledge his support. President John Mahama should probably invite ex President Nana Addo to his residence the next day.

As I have discussed elsewhere, the concession is an important democratic ritual and it is the singular action that signifies the successful resolution of an election. Given the controversy surrounding this election, supplementing the concession with a meeting of the main actors will fast-track the healing process and catalyze the return to political normalcy.

If outcome (c) is announced, no concessions are necessary but perhaps both men should appear at a neutral scene, and pledge to run a peaceful runoff campaign. In that case, the electoral commission should do an urgent internal audit to understand what went wrong and emplace corrective mechanisms for the runoff.

Undoubtedly, the Supreme Court Justices will work tirelessly to reach a fair verdict.

However, because an election case is necessarily at the intersection of politics and adjudication, it is reasonable to expect that about half of the people will be disappointed by the verdict.

This is normal and such disappointment is just what happens after every close election. There is a winner and there is a loser. But we, as a people, have demonstrated that we accept close elections outcome, manage our disappointments and move on!

Unlike others, I have ample faith in the goodness of my fellow citizens and I expect everyone to remain calm, peaceful and law-abiding as we sail the constitutional waters.

Thus, I expect everyone to accept the Court’s verdict, even if they vehemently disagree with it. That, after all, is the essence of democracy and constitutionalism.

#SALL is the cardinal sin of the 8th Parliament.

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