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Politics of Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Source: The Al-Hajj

CODEO/CDD okays Mahama’s victory

It is often said that the worst place to seek refuge is in the tiger’s cage. In like manner, whiles the defeated Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and two others are clutching on the gowns of the Supreme Court Judges as the last straw to help him become president, the petitioners would have a difficult task convincing the court to discard reports by credible independent observers that gave the 2012 election results a clean bill of health.

The most arduous task awaiting lawyers for the petitioners is how they will be able to persuade the nine-member Supreme Court Judges to throw into the trash-can a scientific finding ably supervised by a former Supreme Court Judge and a former Electoral Commission Chairman, Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe which endorsed the results announced by the Electoral Commission as a true reflection of the will of the people but being challenged in court by the New Patriotic Party.

Without prejudice to the ongoing trial, the scientific Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers, CODEO-GH, which incidentally have Justice Crabbe as its Co-Chairman and who is also Ghana’s sole statute law revision commissioner clearly shows that the wounded elephant party is moving out of tangent.

As factual as the gospel of Christ, CODEO, through its PVT has provided a vivid account of what actually transpired in the 2012 elections through a scientific method of deterring fraud and as such, has given a clean bill of health for the electoral commissioner’s work, which declared President John Dramani Mahama as the first round winner.

In sharp contrast to the NPP’s claims of systemic fraud and underhand dealings with officials of the EC and operatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which led to the party praying the court to annul over 4m votes they claim are illegal, the findings from the PVT seem to have created cracks in the party’s so called “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 over 4m 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 the Judges of the Supreme Court, some political pundits have begun to expose lapses in the NPP’s petition.

Considering the solid reputation of Ghana's EC, backed by an independent scientific PVT confirmation of the results being accurate, the NPP obviously faces the tedious task of proving 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 professionals, religious and civic advocacy bodies across Ghana, who since its formation has 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 reflect 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 based on CODEO’s PVT was collected directly from polling stations as opposed to media houses which report results from collation centers.

CODEO’s 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%; 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.

Based 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.