The Electoral Commission (EC) has filed an affidavit in opposition debunking allegation by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that malpractices and irregularities affected the 2012 presidential results.
This was in compliance with an order by the Supreme Court that the parties should file the particulars they seek to rely on in the landmark election petition filed by New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate for 2012, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s chairman.
In an affidavit sworn by Amadu Sulley, Deputy Chairman in charge of Finance and Administration at the EC, the commission prayed the court to dismiss the petition on grounds that it has no merit.
The commission explained that the manner in which the 2012 elections were conducted makes it impossible to falsify the votes cast and to conceal such falsification.
The Commission said it was also ‘impossible to make a false allegation of falsification and to sustain such an allegation.’
According to the EC, the initial complaint put forward by the Chairman of the petitioners’ party in their attempt to halt the declaration of results of the Presidential Election was that there were discrepancies between the results declared in seven constituencies and the results announced by the EC.
However, when the petitioners filed their petition, it showed that they had shifted their grounds and were only alleging discrepancies in three out of the 26,002 polling stations in which voting took place.
According to EC, after it established that two of the said three examples were wrong and the remaining one was the result of a transposition error, ‘the petitioners have been reduced to only one example of a discrepancy between the votes as counted and declared publicly at a polling station and the votes as declared by EC.’
The EC indicated that the petitioners are seeking to overturn the results declared on grounds of irregularities and malpractices in six “main categories.’
According to the EC affidavit, the irregularities and malpractices that the petitioners alleged occurred in those categories have been effectively refuted by the commission in its answer filed on January 7, 2013 and February 27, 2013.
EC, which said all political parties were provided with the Voters Register, observed that the ‘Fake identities’ and ‘multiple names with a unique pattern’ which Dr Bawumia alleged, according to the affidavit ‘are clearly explained as follows: Abudulai Enusah Jamil and Abudulai Enusah Jamila which were names not correctly spelt were the names of twins, who were registered in New York.
Another name mentioned in the petition, Abulai Mumuni Bashiru, the EC explained, was a name of a voter registered in Berlin and that the entries constituted a duplication error yet to be eliminated through the adjudication procedure regarding registration.
EC said there is no rational basis for the contents of the NPP petition, as the petitioners are only 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.
Similarly, the NDC, in its response, also indicated that there had been conflicting figures from the petitioners concerning the pink sheets exhibits they want to use as proof of their various permutations of alleged violations, irregularities, omission and malpractices in the election.
According to NDC, the petitioners said there were 8,621 pink sheets and not 11,842 as stated in their second amended petition.
‘Of the 8,621 pink sheets, 115 have absolutely no data on the basis of which any of the petitioners’ allegations can be supported.
‘The petitioners have used at least one sheet relating to a Parliamentary result in proof of their claim of irregularity in the Presidential Elections.
‘There is no logical, arithmetical or other basis upon which the petitioners come to the conclusion that 4,637,305 votes cast in the December 7, 8 Presidential Election should be annulled.
‘The petitioners’ claims are not supported by the documents they have submitted in support of their case. Also their statements about the malpractices, irregularities, omissions, which they alleged, have not been consistent which each other.’
They therefore asked the court to dismiss the petition filed by three prominent members of the NPP.
By Mary Anane