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General News of Thursday, 27 December 2012

Source: Graphic Online

NPP For Court On Friday

After two weeks of diligent search for evidence to buttress a case of alleged fraud in the 2012 elections, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is expected to invoke the powers of the Supreme Court this week seeking to invalidate the presidential election results.

Having scrutinised the results of about 26,000 polling stations across the country, the NPP is convinced it has a solid case to take to the Supreme Court to overturn the election results that made President John Dramani Mahama winner of the 2012 presidential election.

The party has seven days henceforth, according to the 1992 Constitution, to contest the election results at the Supreme Court, and to retrieve what it considers to be a ‘stolen verdict’ from the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Article 64(1) of the constitution provides: “The validity of the election of the President may be challenged only by a citizen of Ghana who may present a petition for the purpose to the Supreme Court within twenty-one days after the declaration of the result of the election in respect of which the petition is presented.

The constitution further provides in Article 64(2): “A declaration by the Supreme Court that the election of the President is not valid shall be without prejudice to anything done by the President before the declaration.

On December 9, 2012, Dr Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), declared President Mahama as the president-elect in the December 7 polls, as the NPP made a failed attempt to convince the EC boss to put the results on hold for 24 hours to enable the party to produce more evidence of alleged discrepancies that would have enormous impact on the final results.

The party promptly rejected the declared results and declared its resolve to seek redress at the Supreme Court.

Some spokespersons of the NPP had already released snippets of “discrepancies” in the election results that they claim would override the EC’s declaration of President Mahama as ‘one touch’ victor in the polls.

But the “discrepancies” in the election results identified by the NPP have been tendered as exhibits, not at the Supreme Court, but in the court of public opinion, mostly the media, while party functionaries and supporters resort to demonstrations and other forms of public protest against the results.

The Daily Graphic caught up with Mr Ayikoi Otoo, a leading member of the NPP legal team expected to mount the landmark case at the Supreme Court, at a workshop at Elmina at the weekend and sought to find out from him when exactly the party would go to court.

“The constitution gives us 21 days to go to court,” responded the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under Kufuor’s administration.

When his attention was drawn to the fact that this is the last week within which the NPP must take its case to the Supreme Court and the fact that the clock was ticking fast, his response was simple: “I am aware”.

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