General News of Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Source: Al-Hajj

CODEO ‘Destroys’ NPP’s Evidence

-with its scientific data

By A A Yayra

It is often said that the worst place to seek refuge is the tiger’s cage. In like manner, whiles the defeated Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo clutch on the gowns of the Supreme Court Judges as the last straw to help him become president, available scientific findings by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers, CODEO-GH regarding the 2012 elections shows that the elephant party is barking up the wrong tree.

As factual as the gospel of Christ, CODEO, through it Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) has provided a vivid account of what actually transpired in the just ended elections through a scientific method of deterring fraud in the just ended election and as such, has given a clean bill of health to the Electoral Commissioner’s work, which declared President John Dramani Mahama as first round winner.

In sharp contrast to the NPP’s claims of systemic fraud and underhand dealings by officials of the EC and operatives of the National Democratic Congress, which led to the party seeking dozens of reliefs at the Supreme Court, the findings from the PVT seems to have created cavernous cracks in the party’s “incontrovertible evidence.”

The NPP on Friday December 28, 2012, formally begun its legal challenge of the electoral results, which favored incumbent President John Mahama and has petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the declaration and invalidate some 1,342, 845 million votes from the total valid votes cast.

The party said the electoral processes were fraught with irregularities deliberately created by the EC to ‘help’ President Mahama win the Presidential election.

Even before the “evidence” on which the petition was filed by the party could be properly scrutinized by Judges at the Supreme Court, some political pundits have begun exposing lapses in the NPP’s petition.

Considering the solid reputation of Ghana's EC, backed by an independent scientific PVT confirmation of the results been accurate, the NPP obviously faces tedious task to prove their case in court as they can never make their case without a rebuttal of the confirmations by independent observers like CODEO.

CODEO has earned an enviable reputation, both locally and internationally and it comprises various professional, religious and civic advocacy bodies across Ghana, who since it formation have undertaken several election-related projects to consolidate democracy both at the constituency and the national levels.

It was initiated in 2000 by the Center for Democratic Development, CDD-Ghana, as a network of various civil society groups to observe the 2000 Presidential and Parliamentary elections and has grown to become the largest independent and non-partisan domestic election observation coalition in Ghana dedicated to the promotion of free, fair and transparent elections in Ghana.

The PVT exercise was conducted by CODEO to scientifically and independently verify the accuracy of the official results of the presidential election declared by the EC. It was also intended to help confirm that the official results of the presidential polls truly reflects the will of Ghanaians

It is an advanced and scientific election observation technique that enables election observers stationed at polling stations to record and transmit, in real-time, information about the conduct of the opening of the polls, voting and official vote count processes to a central election observation point using text messaging.

This technique has been used successfully around the world, including Ghana in 2008, to promote electoral integrity and help defend the rights of citizens to vote and to protect such rights when exercised.

The first PVT was conducted in the Philippines in 1986. In Africa, the PVT methodology has been successfully used in Madagascar, Malawi, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Election data base on CODEO’s PVT was collected directly from polling stations as oppose to media houses which report results from collation centers.

CODEO, base on data received from its 1492 observers located in all 275 constituencies across Ghana in the December 7 and 8, 2012 elections estimated voter turnout to be 78.68% with a margin of error of 0.58%, which was closed to EC’s official figure of 79.43%.

The PVT estimate of rejected ballots was 1.65%, with a margin of error of 0.09%, which was also quite close to the EC’s figure of 2.2%.

On the results itself, CODEO declared President Mahama winner with 51.38%, with Nana Akufo-Addo; 47.17% with a margin of error of 1.68%

On December 10, 2012, CODEO announced the results of its PVT analysis by stating “We can confidently confirm that the results of our PVT are consistent with the official presidential results announced by the Electoral Commission.”

It further noted that the PVT data rank order of the presidential candidates in terms of their share of the votes is similar to the official EC results.

“It should be noted, however, that because the PVT data is based on a sample of polling stations, the PVT results may not necessarily perfectly match the official results; but it should fall within a range of values statistically estimated from the PVT data. A concern would have been raised if any of the official results were to fall significantly outside the PVT estimated range” declared CODEO

Base on their findings, the organization asserted that the results of the 2012 presidential polls declared by the EC are generally an accurate reflection of how Ghanaians voted in the December, 7 polls.

CODEO has, therefore, called on all political contestants and their supporters to respect the will of the Ghanaian electorates and to accept the results of the 2012 presidential election in good faith

President John Dramani Mahama was on Sunday December 9 declared winner of the 2012 Presidential Election by Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the EC, after a voting exercise that spanned two days.

President Mahama polled 5,574,761, which represented 50.70% of the valid votes cast, whiles his main contender, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the NPP, polled 5,248,898, representing 47.74 per cent.