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Election Petition: Petitioners want Supreme Court to annul over 4 million votes
From: Ghana | Daily Graphic          Published On: February 1, 2013, 05:27 GMT
 
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Election Petition: Petitioners want Supreme Court to annul over 4 million votes

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The petitioners challenging December 7 presidential elections Thursday requested the Supreme Court to annul 4,670,504 of the valid votes cast during the election at 11,916 polling stations where alleged irregularities took place.

In the amended petition dated January 31, 2013, filed at 9:20 a.m. at the Supreme Court Registry, the petitioners are also seeking to introduce the claim that there were 28 locations where voting took place that they claim were in addition to the 26,002 official polling stations created by the EC.

They had initially called for the cancellation of 1,342,845 valid votes cast during the election at 4,709 polling stations due to what they termed "gross and widespread irregularities" recorded during the elections, but are now praying the Supreme Court to pronounce additional 3,327,659 valid votes cast during the elections as invalid. A total of 10,995,262 votes were declared as valid votes by the EC on December 9, 2012, but per the calculations of the petitioners, only 6,324,504 of those votes are valid.

In their amended petition, the number of polling stations where the petitioners are alleging that irregularities took place increased from 4,709 to 11,916.

The petitioners are accordingly praying the court to annul 3,101,590 votes declared in favour of President Mahama by the EC.

President Mahama was initially declared to have polled 5,574,761 votes, but the new figures from the petitioners have reduced the president’s share of the vote from 50.70 to 39.1 per cent.

According to the petitioners, votes cast for Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), must be reduced from 5,248,898 votes to 3,775,552.

According to the amended petition, Nana Akufo-Addo won the elections by 59.69 per cent.

They are also praying the Supreme Court to annul a total of 95,568 from a total of 171,603 votes declared for six other presidential candidates in the December 7, 2012 elections due to alleged "gross and widespread irregularities" in 11,916 polling stations.

In their December 28, 2012 petition, the petitioners, Nana Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and NPP Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, had called for the annulment of 1,342,845 but are now praying the Supreme Court to annul more votes.

Counsel for the petitioners is expected to move the motion for leave of the court to amend the petition on February 5, 2013.

An affidavit in support of the motion for permission to amend the petition deposed to by Dr Bawumia said the amendment had become necessary "particularly because of new and material facts that have come to the knowledge of the petitioners after filing of the petition on December 28, 2012 which will have a significant effect on the results as declared by the second respondent."

The second respondent in the petition is the Electoral Commission (EC), which organised the elections and declared the results, while President Mahama is the first respondent.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), on whose ticket President Mahama stood for the elections, was allowed to join the petition on January 22, 2013 after it had made an application to that effect.

According to the petitioners, the irregularities were widespread enough to affect the outcome of the presidential election.

The EC has denied these claims and insists the results it declared are accurate and credible. President Mahama also maintains that he won the elections freely and fairly in the full glare of the media and local and international election observers.

In the motion for amendment, the applicants and petitioners are praying the court to allow them to correct typographical errors in the December 28, 2013 petition.

They also contend that the EC failed to provide the NPP with a provisional register of voters for each polling station in accordance with Regulation 21 (2) of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2012 (C.I. 72), "thereby disabling petitioners and their party from effectively verifying the names on the list to ascertain their authenticity."

Other violations cited by the petitioners include over-voting, voting without biometric verification, absence of signatures of presiding officers or assistants on pink sheets and same polling station code with different results, among others.

According to the affidavit in support of the motion for amendment, the application had become necessary "to correct some typographical and clerical errors, particularly some erroneous numbers, in order to tidy up the averments in the petition."

It said the new material facts would demonstrate the full dimension and impact of the statutory violations, irregularities and/or malpractices as manifest on the face of the official declaration forms of the EC.

"That, these new material facts, are significant and necessary to ensure that the full facts pertaining to the petitioners' petition can be fully laid before the court to ensure that all the matters in controversy are fully canvassed and dealt with efficiently, effectively and conclusively by the Court," the affidavit in support pointed out.

According to the affidavit in support, the application had been brought in good faith and would not take the respondents by surprise "as it simply seeks to effect the correction of clerical errors and to ensure that all relevant facts are brought to the attention of the Court before the final determination of the matter."

The petitioners also gave an assurance that the proposed amendment would not cause any undue delay in the case.


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