EC: Votes not falsified

The Electoral Commission (EC) on Tuesday complied with the Supreme Court’s order and filed by filing its affidavit in the presidential election petition, declaring that it was impossible to falsify the votes cast and conceal the falsification.

According to the EC, which is the second respondent in the petition challenging the legitimacy of President John Dramani Mahama, the manner in which the 2012 elections were conducted and the participation of representatives of all political parties in the procedures at the constituency collation centres and at the EC’s strongroom made it impossible to falsify the votes cast and conceal the act.

On Tuesday the court had to adjourn its hearing of the matter to Wednesday morning following the inability of the EC to file its affidavit, although the deadline for doing so was to elapse last night.

At exactly 4 pm yesterday, the affidavit, which was deposed to by Mr Amadu Sulley, a Deputy Chairman (Finance and Administration) of the EC, was filed on behalf of the EC.

Attached to the 15-paragraph affidavit were seven exhibits.

According to the EC, the initial complaint put forward by the representatives of the petitioners in their attempt to halt the declaration of the results of the presidential election was that there were discrepancies between the results in seven constituencies and the results announced by the commission.

It said however that when the petitioners filed their petition, they shifted their grounds and were only alleging discrepancies in three out of the 26,002 polling stations in which voting took place.

According to the EC, after it had established that two of the said three examples were wrong and the remaining one was the result of a transposition error involving 80, the petitioners had reduced the discrepancy to only one example.

It said contrary to what the petitioners had stated, all political parties were provided with the voters’ register, pointing out that the ‘fake identities’ and ‘multiple names with a unique pattern’ which Dr Mahamadu Bawumia had alleged that the EC sought to hide were explainable.

The affidavit explained that Abdul Enusah Jamil and Abdulai Enusah were twins who were registered in New York and that extracts of the entries in the register/database on the two were attached as exhibits AS and ASI, respectively.

Furthermore, Abdul Mumuni Bashiru was registered in Berlin and the entries constituted a duplication error yet to be eliminated through the adjudication procedure regarding registration.

It said the relevant entries in the register/database were attached as exhibits AS2 and AS3, respectively, showing that duplicated entries were in the same polling stations, making it impossible, in any event, for the registrant to vote twice.

The entry for Abdul Bashiru Ibrahim (exhinit AS4 and AS5), it said, registered in Dubai and Paul Yaw Essel (exhibit AS6 and AS7), registered in Kuala Lumpur were also genuine duplication errors yet to be corrected.

The EC said certain aspects of the petitioners’ affidavit were false and that polling stations were identified by their names and their unique polling station codes, while the serial number on a polling sheet was not a security feature.

Similarly, it said, there were several inconsistencies in the petitioners’ affidavit and also fastening onto errors committed in the completion of pink sheets by presiding officers that did not benefit any particular candidate or affect the number of valid votes cast at polling stations.

It said the reliefs being sought by the petitioners were without merit and requested the court to dismiss the petition.

Story by Ghana/Daily Graphic