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General News of Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Source: Daily Guide

NPP storms Nana house

The plot has thickened around allegations of vote rigging by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) as the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) begins to release evidence of the inflated votes in favour of the ruling party’s candidate, John Dramani Mahama.

On Sunday morning, the NPP Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, issued a stern statement indicating discrepancies between the figures received by the Electoral Commission (EC) and the figures of votes actually recorded at the constituencies and authenticated by polling agents of all the competing political parties.

Documents sourced from the NPP by DAILY GUIDE show damning evidence of systematic vote inflation across the country as the party readied to battle it with the EC.

For instance, in the Tamale South constituency in the Northern Region, John Mahama of the NDC received total votes of 37,832 but at the EC, 53,536 was recorded, representing additional votes of 15,704 reportedly massaged into the system.

At the Lower Manya Krobo constituency, John Mahama received total votes of 23,520 but it was allegedly changed to 30,183.

In the Techiman North constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, the NDC’s John Mahama attained 10,519 votes, but the EC recorded 16,329, an additional 5,810 votes.

In the Akropong constituency in the Eastern Region, 15,389 votes were recorded for the NDC, instead of the actual votes that amounted to 9,638.

In the Yilo Krobo constituency, 29, 300 were recorded for John Mahama instead of 21,772.

In the Kintampo South constituency, 16, 488 votes were recorded for President Mahama instead of 12,890 actual votes.

The NPP said it had in its possession, hundreds of such discrepancies.

A similar alleged fraud of over 15,000 votes were to be perpetuated on the NPP at the Dome Kwabenya collation centre in Accra before it was detected by vigilant members, only for the Greater Accra NDC chairman, Ade Coker, to say that it was human error.

In records captured from constituency collation centres as captured in the “Blue form” but now called “Red Form”, the discrepancies appeared to have been deliberately manufactured to give an edge to President Mahama.

For instance, out of just 10 constituencies- Tamale South, Lower Manya Krobo, Techiman North, Yilo Krobo, Akropong, Berekum West, Kintampo South, Upper West Akyem, Mpohor and Yendi constituencies- as many as 52, 483 more votes were fraudulently recorded for President Mahama.

Meanwhile, as exponential increases were being recorded for President Mahama, the votes of his close contender, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), was being skimmed off.

In the Yendi constituency in the Northern Region for instance, President Mahama received 21,668 votes instead of the recorded 20,658. Nana Akufo Addo’s votes which peaked at 27,678 were reduced to 26,989 by the records at the EC.

Afari Gyan’s Dribble

When the NPP raised concerns about these serious irregularities, the Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, who is retiring, ordered the opposition party to go to court if it felt aggrieved by the outcome of the December 7 polls.

Shortly after the NPP discovered these irregularities, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey petitioned the EC to convene an emergency meeting.

The meeting brought together the EC, the National Peace Council and the two aggrieved political parties, the NPP and the NDC.

At the meeting, the EC asked the NPP to present hard evidence which was duly presented.

Sources told DAILY GUIDE that the EC boss was dismissive as he asked the NPP to produce the irregularities against the correct figures for all the 275 constituencies across the country.

The NPP was said to have protested against that request from the EC, arguing that it was not in the party’s place to produce all the figures from across the country and requested the EC to investigate the evidence it had presented before declaring the winner of the elections.

According to the sources, the EC was generally not receptive to the proposition of the NPP requiring the EC to critically scrutinise the election results.

The EC boss and the other commission members excused themselves from the tripartite meeting to deliberate on the proposal from the NPP.

When they finally emerged, Dr. Afari-Gyan told the gathering that he would go ahead to declare the winner.

The haste at which the EC boss was eager to declare the winner puzzled the gathering, particularly because the 48-hour time-schedule for declaring the elections had not expired.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that the NPP delegation, led by party Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, came out of the meeting extremely peeved because the EC was not receptive to investigating the allegations raised.

Some officials of the EC have been cited for complicity in aiding the ruling NDC to win the elections.

According to the NPP, the President had conspired with officials of the EC to “falsify election results”.

“The EC owe us some transparency, are they a government onto themselves, who is the EC responsible to, Ghanaians or itself?” Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoah, asked rhetorically when contacted by DAILY GUIDE Monday afternoon.

“The EC is mandated by the constitution to conduct an election for Ghanaian’s and it turns out that the EC has taken the power and authority of Ghanaians and it is using it anyhow for itself,” stated a visibly angry Mr Buaben Asamoah.

Why The Rush?

On Sunday evening, barely 15 hours after the curtains had been pulled on the extended December polls, Dr. Afari-Gyan announced the winner of the election. In the EC boss’s declaration, he said President Mahama of the NDC polled 5,574,761, representing 50.7 percent of total votes. His close contender, Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP trailed at 47.74 percent representing 5,248,898 votes.

Earlier, the EC had said that it would announce the result 48 hours after voting closed, hence the NPP request was aimed at working within that timeframe to scrutinise the anomalies and the suspected inflated figures recorded from the polls.

However, the EC rushed to announce the results.

The polls closed by 5pm on Saturday, December 8, 2012. Dr. Afari-Gyan announced the results by 9.10 pm on Sunday December 9, 2012.

Earlier, the Director of Public Affairs of the EC had indicated that if the EC was alerted with substantial evidence of electoral manipulations, the commission would institute an investigation and would only ignore such investigations if the evidence was frivolous.

The NPP is confident that its evidence is solid and would not back down on contesting the election results.

The party is meeting today to take a final decision on it when all its regional chairmen converge on Accra for the important meeting.