General News of Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Source: NPP Communications
The petitioners in the Supreme Court case challenging the results of the 2012 Presidential elections have stated that if over-voting was the only violation they complained about in the election petition, then the annulment of such votes will be enough to bring down the Presidency of John Dramani Mahama.
According to Paragraph 73 of the main affidavit of the petitioners, if the over-votes in 2,065 polling stations “were annulled as required by law, the 1st Respondent, John Dramani Mahama, would have 49.1% of the valid votes cast, and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would have 49.3% of the valid votes cast.”
Widespread instances of over-voting, as stated in the main affidavit, were found in polling stations “where (a) votes cast exceeded the total number of registered voters or (b) votes exceeded the total number of ballot papers issued to voters on voting day in violation of Article 42 of the Constitution and Regulation 24 (1) of C. I. 75.”
In affirming the cancellation of such votes, as contained in Regulation 24 (1) of C. I. 75, the Chairman of Electoral Commission, prior to the December 2012 elections, emphasised to the general public that any polling station where over-voting occurred would have its results annulled.
The cancellation of over-votes, according to the EC and its Chairman, was to protect the integrity of the entire elections at the polling stations as any incidence of over-voting undermines the integrity of the polls.
It was, therefore, for this reason that the EC annulled the votes cast in “the presidential election in Upper West Akim –Arabic Primary School A, Asuokaw polling station with code E121703; and in the parliamentary election in Tano North, Tanoso Methodist Primary School, with code G061304.”
Over-voting is one of the six main categories of violations, omissions, irregularities and malpractices, which in various combinations, affected the results of the elections in the 11,842 polling stations and in so doing, according the petitioners, irredeemably damaged a total of 4,637,305 votes in the process, and must, therefore, be annulled.
The six broad categories of infractions are (i) over-voting, (ii) voting without biometric verification, (iii) multiple pink sheets with the same serial numbers, (iv) pink sheets without the signatures of the presiding officer or their deputies, (v) same polling station codes for different pink sheets and (vi) unknown polling stations, 23 in all.
The petitioners say that the true result of the 2012 presidential election, after it is cured of all the infractions through the necessary annulments, should see Nana Akufo-Addo earning 59.55%, with the first respondent, John Mahama, obtaining 39.17% of the valid votes cast.
The petitioners have based their case mainly on the facts and figures on the pink sheets, the official document that the Electoral Commission relied on to declare the results of the presidential poll held on 7th and 8th December. They have also grounded their case on clear breaches of the Constitution and other electoral laws and practices in Ghana.