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Opinions of Sunday, 16 December 2012

Columnist: Poku, E. K.

Validity Of The Election Of Mahama

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It has been a matter of great concern and surprise for me to read about congratulations from people I had previously held in high esteem. Among these people are Kofi Annan, the head of the AU, as well as Ex-President Rawlings and many more.

Historically, the suffering of the “black man”, the humiliation of the people of African descent all over the world, could be attributed to what is described in medicine as self-harm, meaning self-inflicted harm to themselves.

Recently, it has been extremely painful for me and definitely for many people of African descent all over the world to watch how our able and talented young footballers have to endure insults from Croatia, UK, Spain, Italy, Russia and many more countries. We hear words like N… as well as monkey-noises used against them. We should however not forget that these insults have been made possible because of the slave-trade, which many, many of our people have to suffer humiliation and deprivation through their slave-masters. Do we blame these slave-masters alone ? The answer is: no. Because without the full participation of some of our people probably the extent of slave trade that took place in those days would have been reduced. It is therefore of great concern to me to hear words of adoration and congratulations from Kofi Annan and Ex-President Rawlings to Mahama regarding the pronouncement of the Electoral Commissioner that President Mahama has won the Presidential Election of 2012.
I had expected these two gentlemen to have been a bit patient and to have cared about cementing the democratic credentials that our dear country badly needs.
What frightens me is that it appears that they care more about parties than about the country itself, Ghana.

The fact that Nana Addo has petitioned the Supreme Court about what he thinks to have been irregularities in the election does not really seem to bother them.
The renowned Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare stated correctly when he said “a challenge is neither subversive of the constitution nor alien to democratic countries. Election disputes are inevitable by-products of elections and our commonplace even in the more mature democracies.”


A) The Election

Why are people indifferent to the suspicion of rigged elections ?
1. Because most of those who congratulated Mahama think that the proclamation by the Electoral Commissioner seals the deal.

2. Because of ignorance about what electoral fraud and voter fraud mean.

They will, I hope, change their minds if they knew the definition of both electoral fraud and voter fraud. It is therefore appropriate at this juncture to inform them and my readers, what these two words mean:

Electoral Fraud
This is defined as illegal interference with the process of an election. The acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result either by increasing the vote share of the favoured candidate or depressing the vote share of the rival candidate or both.
Comments: If evidence to the Supreme Court therefore show clearly that this has happened, irrespective of who the culprit is, then Nana Addo would have won the case and I hope on the 28th December he will be declared the President of Ghana.

Voter Fraud

This mechanism involved include illegal voter registration, intimidation with police or military or any other person. It is known that voter fraud can have effect of coups d’état or corruption of democracy. Dr. Bawumia talked of constitutional coups d’état. And this constitutional coups d’état is tantamount to treason.

Techniques of voter fraud

1. Electorate manipulation

If e.g. a Christian Northerner calls on the support of all Muslims who live in the North and Upper Regions to vote for him because he is a Northerner, this could lead to the manipulation of their feelings to his advantage. To be precise: Mahama said that Northerners and Upper-Regioners are no-more prepared to play second fiddle in Ghanaian politics. Suggested instead of Nana Addo Bawumia should have been the flag-bearer of NPP. These sentiments are clearly not helpful.
2. Intimidation
Proof of Police and Military bias against NPP has been documented.
3. Misrecording of votes
This can be proved by following the audit-trail. The result of each constituency can be easily traced to the underlying polling results, both of which are documented and are available to the EC. So the discrepancies so-far discovered should have been known by the Electoral Commissioner.
It is even alleged that there were instances where biometric machines were not even used. Polling stations were created without anyone’s’ knowledge. If these can be proved then of-course I don’t see why the EC should not be made responsible for the shortcomings.

B) The Eligibility

Disqualification of NDC from Taking Part in the 2012 Presidential Elections

Background History

23rd May 2012

1. The NDC and DFP formally merged as one party at a ceremony in Accra.
2. NDC practised self-imposed deadline to register the new party.
3. This is their right to do so.
4. The NDC has so far misled both the EC and the public about the registration of the new party, for the name has been kept secret and the registration deadline until now remains unknown.
5. The new Parties’ level of support remains unknown, for they continued on their own against the rules and regulations in the constitution and continued to use the name NDC.
6. At a party joint news conference (please note: This is significant !), the then Vice-President and now President Mahama expressed delight on the “merger”.
7. Reading a statement jointly signed by him and Mr. Bede A. Ziedeng, former General Secretary of DFP, Mr. Asiedu Nketia, said the approval of NDC of the merger, they had brought to a close, a page on the DFP.
He said the DFP would take the necessary steps to inform the EC accordingly.

The EC now says they have not been informed about the merger officially. They admitted however that they knew of the merger.
We say: the knowledge of the merger is all that is required to disqualify NDC, not the registration.

The final agreement of the two parties saw to it that all regional executives of the NDC did include a DFP-member. Mr. Nketia however asked all DFP members to reapply for their status as NDC-members to be registered. This statement clearly shows or indicates that Asiedu-Nketia is an illiterate; he did not know what he was doing. How about other members of NDC, how about Obed Asamoah ?
This serious mistake by NDC was only possible because under Mills’ leadership the country was ruled like Nkrumah days, that is: with impunity. They never thought they would even be challenged.
How about the EC ? He is a learned intelligent man. Why did he allow a party to be on the ballot whose registration has lapsed because of the merger and has since not been re-registered. This is clear negligence !

What does the Constitution say ?

Merger of registered political parties
19. Where two or more registered political parties come together and merge as one party
a) the registration of each party existing immediately before the effective date the merger shall lapse, and
b) the new party shall require registration for the purposes of this Act.

The Upshot

a) The NDC-registration with the EC expired before the merger.
b) They created a self-imposed deadline to register their new party.
c) It is illegal therefore for the NDC (or DFP or any other unregistered party) to stand any election or be granted any rights requiring registration as stated in The Political Parties Act of 2000.
d) It has disqualified itself. Period.
The EC does not need to be informed of any merger as the merger itself lets the registration lapse. The EC does not need to disqualify the registration or to enact the “cancellation” of the registration as stated in other places in this act.
e) The price EC has to pay for this negligence is immediate resignation.
f) Heads of State everywhere in the world shall be informed.

Dr. Edward K. Poku, Germany

Dear Chief Justice,
Your Honour, I am sure you will agree with me that it will be an overriding national interest to have a government whose credibility is untainted. The example I have given you regarding the “Disqualification of NDC...” etc. is a typical example of how NDC after merging with DFP still managed to manipulate the Electoral Commission into registering it even though according to our constitution their registration had lapsed.
Such a party cannot, Your Honour, be credible enough to manage not only the affairs of the country but more importantly our finances.
A minimum requirement will be to do your utmost to come to a just decision who actually won the Election. We all trust you and the Supreme Court to put the interest of our country above petty party politics.
The world is watching and the dignity of our race is at stake. Though I have been a member of NDC, these allegations of vote rigging is shocking and I am thus counting on your decision based on facts.
The argument for reversing the decision of the Electoral Commission shall be presented to your honourable court, if not already done so.

God bless our Supreme Court, God bless Ghana.

Dr. Edward K. Poku

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