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Petitioners submit particulars on polling stations; EC provides foreign voters register
From: Ghana | Daily Graphic          Published On: February 13, 2013, 06:10 GMT
 
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Petitioners submit particulars on polling stations; EC provides foreign voters register

EC Chairman Dr Afari-Gyan

The petitioners contesting John Mahama’s declaration as the winner of the 2012 presidential election have submitted the names and codes of 4,709 polling stations where they allege that electoral irregularities took place.

They have also filed the names and codes of the polling stations where voting took place without biometric verification.

President Mahama and the Electoral Commission (EC), who are the first and second respondents to the petition, are expected to be served with the filed documents before the end of the week.

Pursuant to the Court’s February 5, 2013 order, the petitioners are expected to submit further and better particulars within two weeks on the remaining 7,207 polling stations where they the alleged irregularities took place.

The petitioners have also filed an amended petition that increased the number of polling stations implicated in voting irregularities from 4,709 to 11,916, thereby making 11,916, the official figure in the court’s records.

They filed the amendment on February 7, 2013 after receiving permission from the Supreme Court.

The EC, for its part, has complied with the Supreme Court’s orders by answering questions posed by the petitioners.

The petitioners, New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and NPP Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, originally filed their petition at the Supreme Court on December 28, 2012. That petition charged, among other things, that irregularities recorded at 4,709 polling stations favoured President Mahama, a claim that President Mahama and the EC have denied.

Answering interrogatories posed by the petitioners, the EC submitted a table explaining that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted a list of 2,350 members of staff and that the EC captured only 705 of those during the registration process, which took place between September and October 2012.

The EC further explained that 55 persons who registered in Accra were staff serving in Ghanaian missions abroad but had returned home during the elections.

It maintained that before registration took place abroad, it had given the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) the list of foreign service personnel, their dependents, students on Ghana government scholarships abroad and Ghanaians working with international organisations as well as their locations and proposed dates of registration.

“Honourable Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (NPP) and Mr George Lawson (NDC) collected the material on behalf of their political parties in the middle of September, 2012,” the EC declared, adding that, “no voting took place outside Ghana.”

The locations where the registration exercises took place and the number of people who registered are as follows: London, 49; The Hague, 27; Moscow, 34; Berlin, 27; Geneva, 26; Rome, 16; Spain, 3; Cuba, 15; Washington DC, 23; New York, 55; Brazil, 13; China, 20; Seoul, 22; India, 17; Dubai, 19; Malaysia, 13, Addis Ababa, 36; Pretoria, 43; Rabat, 45; Algiers, 28; Cairo, 20; Monrovia, 27, Dakar, 21; Abidjan, 13; Bamako, 11; Abuja, 30 and Lome, 7.

Amadu Sulley, the EC Deputy Chairman in charge of Finance and Administration, said it initially announced a provisional figure of 13,917,366 registered voters. He added that after the registration of foreign service officials, students abroad on government scholarships, other Ghanaians working abroad with international organisations and the late registration of service personnel returning from international peacekeeping duties, the figure stood at 14,031,793.

“This was the figure used in printing the final voters copies, which were given to the political parties. Following directives from the court on decision regarding appeals from challenges and objections raised during the exhibition of the provisional voters register under C.I. 72, the number of registered voters stood at 14,031,680,” he stated.

According to the EC, “further directives received from the court are yet to be incorporated into the register as well as the recent registrations effected in the Kassena-Nankana District, following the order of the High Court. This will alter the total number of registered voters.

“The voters’ register is dynamic, not static, particularly in this era of continuous registration as required by Regulation 9 (C. I. 72)”, the EC added.

Speaking on whether or not Nana Akufo-Addo or the NPP were notified of the dates of registration abroad, the EC said, “the respondent is not obliged by law to allow political party representatives to be present during registration exercises but has done so, in practice, as a courtesy and to enhance transparency. It was open to the political parties to have their representatives present at the registration locations abroad if they had so wished.”

On January 31, 2013, the petitioners amended their petition to request the Supreme Court to annul 4,670,504 valid votes cast during the election at 11,916 polling stations where alleged irregularities were recorded.

They have also introduced the claim that there were 28 locations where voting took place that were not included in the 26,002 official polling stations created by the EC.


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