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General News of Thursday, 31 December 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

These are the key arguments in Mahama’s 2020 presidential election petition

Sammy Gyamfi is a spokesperson for the 2020 election petition Sammy Gyamfi is a spokesperson for the 2020 election petition

One of the spokespersons for the 2020 presidential election petition filed by the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has released a statement to explain the key arguments in the petition.

According to Sammy Gyamfi, the petition filed at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, by NDC officials on behalf of John Dramani Mahama points out a myriad of constitutional breaches by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, in the declaration of results.

“The case of John Mahama is simply that, the declaration of Candidate Akufo-Addo as the winner of the 2020 Presidential elections is unconstitutional and null and void as Candidate Akufo- Addo didn’t get more than 50% of total valid votes per the declaration of the Returning Officer, Jean Mensa, hence must be set aside,” he explained.

John Dramani Mahama, a former president ousted after the 2016 presidential election by Nana Akufo-Addo, believes the presidential and parliamentary polls on December 7, 2020, were not credible because they did not follow the due voter verification processes and EC officials swapped pink sheet figures to favour the incumbent.

According to the EC, Mr Mahama obtained 47.4% of the total votes cast, while Nana Akufo-Addo got 51.6% of the votes.

Below is Sammy Gyamfi’s 12-point explanation of the petition.

1. The 1992 constitution of Ghana, specifically article 63(3), requires the winner of a Presidential election in Ghana to obtain more than 50% of Total Valid Votes. Failure of any of the candidates to attain more than 50% of Total Valid Votes must lead to a runoff between the first and second candidate.

2. The results of the 2020 Presidential elections were declared by the Returning Officer, Jean Mensa, on 9th December. Per the content of the said declaration, none of the candidates got more than 50% of the Total Valid Votes as required by the Constitution, i.e taken into account her assumption on Techiman south. Fact is, if all votes in Techiman South were added to the votes of candidate John Mahama, Candidate Akufo Addo would have dropped below 50%. The EC Chairperson and retuning officer, Jean Mensah lied when she said in her declaration that even if all votes in Techiman South were added to the 2nd Candidate, John Mahama, the first Candidate, Akufo-Addo will still obtain more than 50% of Total Valid votes. Her own declaration doesn’t support this claim.

3. Also, Percentages allocated to the names of the candidates in the 9th Dec. declaration were wrong. The sum total of the percentages is 100.3%, a clear mathematical and statistical impossibility.

4. The case of John Mahama is simply that, the declaration of Candidate Akufo Addo as the winner of the 2020 Presidential elections is unconstitutional and null and void as Candidate Akufo- Addo didn’t get more than 50% of total valid votes per the declaration of the Returning Officer, Jean Mensah, hence must be set aside.

5. The next day after the declaration, 10th December, the EC posted a press release on their website claiming that the returning officer made a mistake by using Total Votes Cast in her declaration instead of Total Valid Votes and purported to rectify this alleged error. The so-called press release was not signed by the returning officer who made the declaration. In fact, it was not signed at all.

6. Also, the unsigned press release didn’t make any reference to the Total valid votes figure the returning officer is alleged to have gotten wrong in her declaration of 9th Dec. Rather, it made reference to another figure, hence cannot be described as a true and proper correction of the alleged mistake the returning officer made in her declaration of 9th December.

7. Also, the EC claims in the unsigned press release that the mistake the returning officer made on the 9th Dec. was just a slip of tongue and does not affect the votes obtained by the candidates. Yet, the new total valid votes figure the unsigned press release of 10th Dec. introduced is different from the sum total of votes obtained by the 12 candidates per the declaration of 9th Dec. This is because the unsigned press release varied the votes obtained by the candidates. JDM’s votes were reduced by 1707 and NADAA votes increased by 174, among other variations. The sum total of votes obtained by the candidates per the Returning Officer’s declaration of 9th Dec. is completely missing in the unsigned press release of 10th Dec. The EC lied.

8. More importantly, article 63(9) requires the EC to pass the outcome of the Presidential election into law (Constitutional Instrument) and gazette same. The EC passed the declaration of 9th Dec., which it admits was in error (per the unsigned press release) into law (Declaration of President-Elect Instrument, CI 135) and gazetted same. The unsigned press release of 10th Dec. that purported to correct the 9th Dec. declaration is neither part of CI 135 nor was it gazetted. Rather, it was the declaration of 9th Dec. that the EC admits was in error that was passed by CI 135 and gazetted.

9. Moreover, the new total valid votes figure introduced by the unsigned press release of 10th Dec. is fraught with padding and wrong aggregation of votes as shown by exhibit E & F, hence cannot stand.

10. To make matters worse, the new total valid votes figure capriciously and whimsically introduced by the EC’s unsigned press release of 10th Dec. to purportedly correct the alleged mistake the Returning Officer committed in her declaration of 9th Dec. was done without the involvement of agents of the candidates as required by law. No one has seen the basis of that new total valid votes figure nor the new votes allocated to the names of the candidates. This is a gross violation of articles 23 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution in the opinion of the Petitioner.

11. Note that the declaration of election results is a formal act, the form of which is prescribed by law. Also note that, as we speak, there is only one declaration of the 2020 Presidential election results; The declaration of 9th Dec. as captured by CI 135.

12. The NDC is asking the Supreme Court to set CI 135 aside on grounds of unconstitutionality, as the winner declared therein didn’t obtain more than 50% of the Total Valid Votes as required by Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution.

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