General News of Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Pollster Ben Ephson has said the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, will clear all the confusion and murkiness created about the conduct of the 2012 general elections, as far as the ongoing election petition case is concerned when he gives his evidence-in-chief.
The Daily Dispatch Managing Editor told XYZ News that the controversy about the signing of, or omission to sign an electoral record paper (pink sheet) by a Presiding Officer at any polling station as well as the purported failure to fill biometric verification forms, were some of the things Dr. Afari-Gyan’s testimony will clarify.
Unsigned pink sheets is one of four main categories identified by the Petitioners as the machinery used by the Electoral Commission, in collusion with the governing National Democratic Congress, NDC, to rig the elections.
The other categories include over-voting, voting without biometric verification and duplication of serial numbers on pink sheets.
As far as the unsigned pink sheets were concerned, Mr. Ephson explained that: “…The pink sheets are about 12 or 13 sheets carbonated so if the Presiding Officer does not press hard, [those underneath will remain unsigned]”.
According to him, “…Ninety-nine percent of the pink sheets that the NPP is alleging were not signed were in actual fact signed”.
He said the same thing occurred in many polling stations where the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo won comfortably.
As far as the use of voting without biometric verification as one of the vehicles for the purported rigging is concerned, Mr. Ephson said: “I can assure you [of] one thing, Dr. Afari-Gyan’s evidence-in-chief will just clear a lot of these uncertainties because if you take any of the biometric verification machines from those polling stations and you put the batteries in [them], [they] will print out those who voted from beginning to the end and at what time”.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo together with Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s National Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey are in court challenging the validity of the election results as declared by the country’s electoral commission after the December 7 and 8 general elections.
The respondents are President John Mahama, the electoral commission and the NDC. The petitioners argue that the elections were fraught with unpardonable flaws which must not be left uninvestigated. They accuse the NDC of conspiring with the EC to deny Nana Akufo Addo victory in the polls.
They therefore, are praying the court to set aside and nullify the EC’s results which declared President Mahama as winner of the presidential poll. They want the court to annul 4,670,504 of the valid votes cast during the election at 11,138 polling stations where they claim a lot of anomalies occurred.