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John Mahama inaugurated as Ghana's president, amid court challenge from opposition

Mahama takes office in Ghana following December elections, while opposition New Patriotic Party boycotts swearing-in ceremony.

Ghana woman votes in electionsEnlarge
An elderly woman casts her ballot at the Bole polling station, in the Bole Bamboi constituency of northern Ghana, on December 7, 2012. Ghana voted in a high-stakes presidential election today which is expected to be close, with the emerging country seeking to live up to its promise as a beacon of democracy in turbulent West Africa. (PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Ghana's John Dramani Mahama was inaugurated as president today, in a lavish ceremony boycotted by the opposition New Patriotic Party, which claims that Mahama's December election victory was fraudulent.

The Associated Press reports that Mahama promised to work to render the African nation less "polarized," and that he would attempt to make Ghana's impressive economic gains available to everyone.

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Mahama was elected to office in December 2012 with 50.7 percent of the vote, wrote the BBC, allowing him to avoid a run-off with Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party.

Ghana's opposition New Patriotic Party feels that the election was unfair, and launched a legal challenge to Mahama's position on December 28th, claiming polling irregularities and rejecting the results, wrote the BBC.

Read more from GlobalPost: Ghana elections: US urges voters to accept results

Mahama called for unity on January 4 prior to the ceremony, stating that: "Whatever our differences, whatever our politics, we must pull together and rise to meet these challenges."

Despite the New Patriotic Party's protestations, international election observers have concluded that Ghana's election was transparent and fair, wrote Reuters.

The US government has recently urged the Ghanaian opposition to stand down and accept the results.

The Ghanaian leader has served as acting president since July 2012, when preceding leader John Atta Mills died in office, leaving his former vice-president to take over the role.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/ghana/130107/john-mahama-inaugurated-ghanas-president-amid-court-challe