Feature Article of Sunday, 20 January 2013
Columnist: Azindow, Alhassan Hadi
FROM; ALHASSAN HADI AZINDOW
The just ended election has deflated my sense of believe in democracy. Winston Churchill in his 1947 speech said “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” It is the only form of government where the wise and the fool have equal votes. So that when we have more ‘fools’ in a country then we elect a ‘stupid’ president. My language may sound too harsh, contemptible and condescending but I believe it is better to vent my anger in writing than to take to arms.
I am not writing to discredit the electoral results and the integrity of the electoral commission of Ghana but rather to express my disquiet and frustration at the general conduct of the election. The title of this piece should not be taken at its surface meaning to imply a rigged or flawed election. When I use the ‘The stolen election’ I am only drawing inferences from the electoral college system of America where a candidate can obtain majority of the popular votes and still be declared the looser. A classic example being the 2000 elections of the USA where, even though Bush Jr. lost the nation’s popular vote to Gore by over half a million, he won the electoral college and the presidency itself. The simple question I ask is could it be possible that what happened in the 2000 elections of the USA is a replica of the 2012 elections of Ghana although our electoral systems are different. If the answer is in the affirmative then we are in for a very big ‘electoral coup D etat.’
Having said this however, I believe the petition field by three members of the NPP has a lot of weight and merit and must not be brushed aside as others want to have us believe. The Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2012 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the decision by the party to challenge the results of the just-ended elections was to ensure an improvement in Ghana's electoral system. The objective of the party is not only to challenge the presidency of John Dramani Mahama but to also expose and possibly correct the very numerous electoral malpractices in the system.
Dr Mahamadu Bawumia said prior to the clean- up of the electoral register, there were 14,031,608 registered voters and wondered why that number increased to 14,158,890 when the clean- up was rather expected to reduce the numbers.
He said NPP uncovered discrepancies between the presidential results and the parliamentary results.
He described the irregularities as massive and pervasive which favoured the NDC and said 24,000 of the pink result sheets from some polling stations indicated that those irregularities were enough to affect the results.
Adducing more figures as evidence Dr Bawumia in a power point presentation said in one polling station 614 people cast their vote without being verified and added that some polling stations had the same unique serial numbers, which should not be the case.
According to him, there were 620,443 more ballots cast than what was on the voters register and that 456,933 people voted without verification.
He said 50,278 sheets with same serial numbers, 208,523 ballots not authenticated by presiding officers and 3,841 votes identified whose words and figures did not match.
In all 1,340,018, according to Dr Bawumia were fraudulently added to the election results in favour of the NDC.
If indeed what is been said is what is been done then I fear for posterity. Rather than condemning the plaintiffs, we should instead encourage them to come up with more findings until the final ruling on this case comes to light. What should interest us more is the fact that the Electoral Commission has admitted having made a genuine error in the total voters registered. But what we do not know is how many of these errors could have been made elsewhere and could possibly affect the results of the election.
TO ALLAH IS THE GLORY……..