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African Human Rights Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 1996-2096
Print version ISSN 1609-073X


AZU, Miriam. Lessons from Ghana and Kenya on why presidential election petitions usually fail. Afr. hum. rights law j. [online]. 2015, vol.15, n.1, pp.150-166. ISSN 1996-2096.

Most presidential election disputes have been unsuccessful. Although the petitioners almost invariably have adduced evidence of non-compliance with electoral laws, so far the judiciary has hardly been persuaded that the alleged infractions against electoral laws have had any adverse impact on the validity of disputed presidential election results. The article examines the burden and standard of proof which must be discharged in presidential election disputes, and then, based on relevant national case law, it discusses the circumstances under which the courts would invalidate presidential elections results. It concludes with the observation that, although the Raila Odinga case confirms the reluctance of judges to overturn election results, the narrow win in the Nana Akufo-Addo case suggests that the era of unsuccessful presidential election petitions may be drawing to a close.

Keywords : elections; voting; biometrics; petition; electorate.

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