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Opinions of Monday, 12 August 2013

Columnist: Atta-Boakye, Ken

The Concerns of the 2012 General Elections.

The 2012 General Elections have resulted in a damaging legal case between the opposition, NPP and the ruling, NDC. It has generally affected the smooth running of the government. Thank God all shall be over soon.
It was a big privilege to televise the case as well as broadcast it in all the media houses. Those who watched and listened to the seasoned lawyers as they argued their cases had reasons to support whichever side they preferred. However, Ghanaians are worried and concerned about the verdict that would be pronounced by the 9-member Panel justices appointed to sit on the case. As a result, prominent individuals, pastors, NGO’s and several others including the international world communities are pleading with the Ghanaian general public to accept whatever verdict that would be pronounced. The point here is if the verdict that comes out is perceived as justice it is only the idiots who will cause mayhem. What constitutes justice is the crux of the matter but the justices know better. The justices will then be the peace-makers.
We can break the case down to its lowest level for every Ghanaian to easily follow it. When people understand issues they tend to accept the outcome. The case has two sides as argued by the petitioners’ lawyers and the respondents’ lawyers. The petitioners are the opposition, NPP- Nana Akufo Addo, Dr Bawumia and Jake. The respondents are the President, the Electoral Commission and the ruling party, NDC. At the closing thirty-minutes oral submission, it became clearer what each side stood for and what really was at stake. In simple terms the two sides were:
The respondents to the petition claimed and insisted on the fact that the elections were free, fair, and transparent. It was unlike the days when government thugs prevented the opposition from casting their votes; also, no case of ballot stuffing by government agents was detected; no party observers were terrorized at the polling stations; no ballot boxes were snatched away and above all the ballot boxes were opened and counted publicly under the glare of the sun; the party observers didn’t complain of any alleged fraud and signed the pink slips to be sent to the constituency collation centers. Every aspect of the election was fair, free and transparent as attested by the international observers. It was not rigged and the NPP’s case is empty and should be dismissed, they submitted.
The petitioners on the other hand did not directly complain about those allegations as the respondents indirectly alluded to. They presented cases of irregularities, over voting, structural deficiencies and voting without biometric verification as were the merits of the electoral regulations. These discrepancies were enough to affect the result that was announced by the Electoral Commission. In spite of the claim by the respondents that the elections were not rigged the figures and numbers on some of the pink slips didn’t tally, they argued. Again, how could the respondents justify the fact that the votes of NPP minority in parliament were more than the NDC majority? Something went wrong somewhere. They produced evidences in the court to back their claims. In other words they are asking for the Supreme Court to overturn the verdict of the EC and declare them winners to protect the electoral integrity and advance the cause and course of future elections as provided in the constitution. The laws of the constitution should be followed to strengthen the dispensation of democracy. They again, added several issues such as an unknown 22 registered centers. The Supreme Court will decide!!
These are the two puzzling cases presented to the 9-member panel of justices. The case has become mind-boggling and party propagandists have done their worst to sway the case in their favor. Some Ghanaian critics have descended heavily on the justices about their conduct at the trials. The Supreme Court justices are in a fix and are clamping down on Ghanaians for contempt issues. Some three Ghanaians have been convicted already. Two may follow shortly. Things are murky and dicey.
The most important concern of Ghanaians is what will constitute justice for the general acceptance of the Ghanaian body politic. The onus lies on the justices. It will be incumbent upon the justices to convince Ghanaians which side of the two cases they perceive as laden with justice by constitutional provisions and requirements. As our Lordship, the Honorable chief justice, Georgina Wood cautioned the newly appointed Judges and Magistrates recently, they work for Ghanaians and Ghanaians have the right to evaluate their performances. They must thus, work harder. It is their judgment that will determine the continued peace of the country. Ghanaians will analyze and discuss the verdict to give credit where it is due. The whole world is watching Ghana with eagle eyes and the individual 9-member panel justices have a duty to cast their votes to reflect their expertise on flawless justice. We look up to them for a peaceful and prosperous future. I wish them good luck!!

Ken Atta-Boakye, Virginia (A Social Critic).
attaboakye@gmail.com