General News of Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Nana Addo's writ frivolous - NDC

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) yesterday filed its amended response to the election petition filed by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) on February 12, 2013, describing it as “frivolous, and vexatious”.

The amended process filed by the NDC, and available to DAILY GUIDE, is in response to the December 28, 2012 election petition filed by the NPP and amended on February 12, 2013.

In the amended 27-paragraph response, aided by an affidavit endorsed by Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the NDC, the ruling party stated that the NPP’s amended petition is an abuse of the processes of the Supreme Court.

“In bringing this petition before the Honourable Court, the Petitioners are acting in bad faith and the Petition is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the process of this Honourable Court,” the respondents stated.

The NPP had submitted “overwhelming evidence” from 4,709 stations across the country where it believed massive irregularities were overlooked by the Electoral Commissioner (EC).

But early February, the NPP told the Supreme Court that it had uncovered more irregularities in approximately 11,916 polling stations out of the more than 26,000 polling stations where Presidential and Parliamentary elections were conducted in December 2012.

The NPP thus sought leave of the Supreme Court to amend its earlier petition to include the new evidence.

The Court agreed; and the NDC, which had earlier responded to the old petition, also applied to amend its response.

Keeping Up Appearance?

The NDC, in its response, said it is convinced that the NPP’s move to amend its petition is akin to creating an appearance of a real issue when there is none. “…Not only are the grounds for challenging the validity of the Presidential elections of the 7th and 8th days of December, 2012 unfounded, particulars of the categories of alleged irregularities set out by Petitioners clearly overlap, and therefore, adding the votes in these categories as the Petitioners have done amounts to double/multiple counting and is part of a pattern of obfuscation resorted to by Petitioners to create an appearance of a real issue when there is none.”

Originally, the NPP filed its petition based on evidence from 4,709 polling stations nationwide and a resultant questionable votes of a little less than one million out of the 10.9 million votes cast during the elections.

However, the NPP explained to the apex court of the land that it had discovered more irregularities affecting almost 12,000 polling stations with votes of up to 4,670,504 out of the 10,995,262 “valid” votes cast.

The NPP argued that when it made its discovery, it had to quickly present the evidence at the time to be able to meet the mandatory 21 days recommended for election petitions to be filed in the Supreme Court against any election.

However, after the filing of the NPP petition, it continued to scrutinize the results which yielded more irregularities.

In the amended petition therefore, the NPP is asking the court to annul all the invalid votes in 11,916 polling stations.

Annulling these votes will take out 3,101,590 from John Dramani Mahama’s total and 1,473,346 from Nana Akufo-Addo.

This will bring John Mahama’s total valid votes cast to 39.1% (2,473,171) and Akufo-Addo’s down to 3,775,552, making him the clear winner by 59.69%.

But the NDC response claims these calculations are bogus numbers aimed at making the NPP’s case look good in the Supreme Court.