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Opinions of Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Columnist: Amenyo, Andrew

NPP’S election petition is very dangerous for Ghana

NPP’s interpretations of the electoral laws are problematic and detrimental to successful elections in the country. In fact, the petition is an embarrassment to the learned men and women of NPP. Here is a brief analysis of the petition.

PINK SHEETS NOT SIGNED BY PRESIDING OFFICERS

The presiding officers have a vote and actually voted for one party/candidate or another. Upholding the petitioners’ position by granting their request or relief will give the presiding officers the authority to annul/cancel polling station election results if the results do not favour their preferred candidates by simply refusing to sign the pink sheets.

NO BIOMETRIC VERIFICATION NO VOTE

The law requires that presidential and parliamentary candidates must be registered voters. There are factors that can make the biometric verification machine unable to recognise or verify images such as Fingerprints and facial photographs of voters already captured on the machine during the voter registration exercise. During the election, if the biometric verification machine should fail to verify Nana Akufo Addo and Dr Bawumia, what would happen? They have to be disqualified as candidates since anyone who cannot be verified cannot be said to be a voter by the position they have taken.

OVER VOTING

Over voting, if truly established, is unacceptable in any election. From what transpired so far, the allegations of over voting raised by the petitioners appear to be more of clerical errors than anything else. Audit of ballots of the affected polling stations is the only way to resolve the issue but surprisingly, the petitioners have not sought that relief; this is baffling and one wonders if the petitioners actually want the truth to prevail. Also the petitioners have not raised any issues with the ballot or result declaration on the pink sheets. Furthermore, the numerous clerical errors committed by the petitioners have rendered their case impotent; in some jurisdictions the case/petition would have been thrown out.

WHAT IS THE CASE?

The December 2012 elections were conducted in 26002 polling stations and the petitioners claimed they examined pink sheets from 24000 polling stations and are not even sure or specific on the number of results that they are challenging. Are voters from the 2002 polling stations that are left out not Ghanaians whose votes should count? How can Nana Addo be declared winner/president based on 24000 out 26002 results? This request does not make sense.

As a whole, this petition is very injurious to the image/reputation of the learned men and women of NPP. “Blank is equal to zero”, “You and I were not there” and “On the face of the pink sheet” will haunt the petitioners and NPP for ever just as “No courts” and “Apollo ----“.