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General News of Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Source: myjoyonline.com

We are battle ready; NDC declares after joinder application victory

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it is ready for battle in the Presidential Election Petition filed by three leaders of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

A member of the NDC's legal team, Victor Kojogah Adawudu, made the declaration shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the party, a joinder application it brought before the court.

The NDC argued it had a vested interest in the Election Petition brought by the NPP and must be allowed to join the case but lawyers for the petitioners vehemently opposed their application.

In a 6-3 verdict announced Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld the arguments of the NDC that it had to join the case because it sponsored the first respondent to the petition, President John Mahama, in the elections whose outcome the petitioners are challenging.

With this verdict, arguments for and against the substantive petition will soon begin.

The petitioners Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey are seeking to overturn the results of the 2012 General elections as declared in favour of the incumbent President Mahama by the Electoral Commission.

They claim over 1.3 votes were illegally counted and are praying the court to strike out those votes.

The President, John Mahama and the Electoral Commission both of whom are respondents in the case have all rubbished the claims.

With the Supreme Court decision, NDC will now be the third respondent in arguably the biggest court case the country has ever seen.

Victor Kojogah Adawudu told Joy News’ Anny Osabutey the governing party ready and waiting for the court to decide when to submit its response to the petition.

Asked what he thought won for the NDC, its joinder application, Mr. Adawudu said the judges simply upheld the NDC's arguments rooted in Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution.

According to him, the party argued that since it sponsored the candidature of President Mahama in the election, any decision the court would take would manifestly affect the party.

He stated further that if the court were to order for a re-run of the election, it would be the responsibility of the NDC to sponsor the candidate.

These and many arguments, he believed, underpinned the majority ruling by the Supreme Court.

“We are battle ready. We will show the court we won the election fairly,” Adawudu posited.

Meanwhile the NPP’s General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie has accepted the decision of the Court, Anny Osabutey indicated.

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