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General News of Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Source: GNA

NDC files response to election petition

The National Democratic Congress has described the petition challenging the results of the December 7, 2012 presidential elections as an “afterthought and in bad faith.”

It is accordingly praying the Supreme Court not to countenance the petition since it was without merit and an attempt to “deny certain Ghanaians of their constitutional right without any justification.”

“Petitioners, through the acts of their polling agents at the various polling stations as well as acts of other representatives, clearly acknowledged that the presidential elections were validly conducted and claims to the contrary now by the petitioners are an afterthought, and in bad faith and cannot be countenanced,” the NDC’s response to the petition stated.

“The conduct of both the presidential and parliamentary elections involved citizens exercising their right to vote in full view of the public, the media and domestic as well as international election observers,” the NDC pointed out.

According to the NDC, the results of the presidential showed that the first respondent defeated the first petitioner in eight out of the ten regions of the country, adding, “petitioners are acting in bad faith and that the petition is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the process of this Honourable Court.”

The first respondent in the petition is President John Dramani Mahama while Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is the first petitioner in the petition dated December 28, 2012.

The other petitioners are petitioners Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, the running mate of Nana Akufo-Addo and Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey. Also joined to the petition is the Electoral Commission (EC), the body which presided over the elections.

According to the petitioners, irregularities recorded at 4,709 polling stations, favoured President Mahama adding that 24,000 of the pink results sheets from some polling stations indicated that those irregularities were enough to affect the outcome of the presidential election.

They are accordingly requesting the court to annul results declared in the polling stations where the alleged irregularities were recorded but President Mahama and the EC have denied the claims and are currently challenging the petitioners to provide the names and codes of polling stations where the alleged irregularities took place.

The NDC applied for a joinder three days after the filing of the petition, and after legal battle between the lawyers for the NDC and the petitioners, the Supreme Court on January 22, 2013 gave the NDC the nod to join the petition.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to allow it to join the petition, the NDC in a response filed at 3:00 p.m. on January 28, 2013, stated that “the categories of alleged irregularities set out by petitioners clearly overlap, and, therefore, adding the votes in these categories as a pattern of obfuscation resorted to by petitioners to create an appearance of a real issue when there is none.”

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