21.12.2020 Feature Article

Gerrymandering And Cheating To Win Elections

Gerrymandering And Cheating To Win Elections
21.12.2020 LISTEN

So far, I haven't read of anyone writing about the unfairness of the blatant electoral boundary changing malpractice of gerrymandering that the NPP, with the connivance of the shameless woman posing as the Electoral Commissioner and her equally corrupt associates, committed in order for Mr Peter Amewu to win the Hohoe constituency in the Volta Region. My staunch NPP Okyeame forum nemesis of bygone years, Profs. “Azar” and “HKP,” both now with the CDD, have made some comments which rather distract attention from the crime, as they give it a cover of normality. It is not something which can be redressed by the timely formation of the Guan constituency and voting before the election of the Speaker, as the harm has already been caused, that is, defeating the NDC candidate. It is not about electing the Speaker of Parliament. Focusing attention on the latter will simply be a Most Distracting Gimmick (MDG).

When the NPP realised that despite all the money Amewu was splashing around and the tribal politics against the NDC candidate, he'd still lose if those areas were allowed to vote within their present Hohoe constituency, they came out with the last minute changing of the electoral boundaries to cut off the SALL areas and thus prevented them from voting in the parliamentary elections. Let's focus on the crime too, not only the palliatives being suggested to mitigate some of the consequences of the crime.

The NDC candidate is from Lolobi within the carved out Oti Region refusing to be part of the Oti Region. Residents there would have voted even more overwhelmingly for her too, hence the shameless gerrymandering to prevent that. To make sure that they won, over 70 buses were used to bus in people to vote for Amewu. That's simply unprecedented in our history. The NPP “won” that seat "by hook or CROOK," by resorting to electoral malpractices, just as it is becoming clearer each day that they didn't also win outright the presidential election.

Stealing the mandate, and hence the sovereignty of the electorate, either through fraudulent elections or military seizures of power, though the norm in Africa, is a crime. Malawians had taken the lead in showing that such stealing of elections must not be the norm in Africa, thereby earning the Economist’s accolade of the country of the year, 2020!

Ghana MUST follow the set example that such a norm cannot be allowed to continue. That's the greatest revolution the NDC and all well-meaning Ghanaians can lead the nation to achieve. No biased judges CAN BE ALLOWED TO SUBVERT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE! Ghanaian judges cannot afford to be outdone by their Malawian counterparts even if the gifts of goats and guinea fowls (akomfem) are now surpassed by rumoured very tempting humongous house-shaped carrots. But let them be reminded that when our eminent Prof. Raymond Atuguba, by dint of statistics, proved that our learned judges started deciding cases according to their political persuasions, he was nearly crucified. Let them prove to us that he was wrong and his findings were spurious.

As for the Military and Police officers being used to subvert justice, they are warned to stop now or be swept aside too by the righteous anger, disgust and disdain of the people. The Sudanese civilians have shown us repeatedly that even military usurpers can be kicked out of power through street protests.

I don't hold brief for the NDC, especially their clueless and pathetic leaders who have once again failed their supporters and the nation by the abominable incompetence to monitor and supervise the elections and making sure they have all the Pink Sheets given to their Polling agents deposited, collated and secured at the constituency head offices within 12 hours from declaration at the Polling stations or centres. I don't see anything logistically difficult about that all, having read some of the lame duck excuses so far given like that of ASEPA, written in equally poor English. But as the largest opposition, which just happens to be part of the problem of the dysfunctional, corrupt and often clueless leadership in Ghana (I hope they have by now found out about their folly of not consolidating the model PSA for our upstream oil sector), they owe us a duty to proceed to court asap if they indeed have the evidence that they won the presidential race. If they don't have that evidence, it is folly to continue to instigate protests. But if they have - and that should come from ONLY their own Pink Sheets, not some independent audit later - then they MUST not relent in organising more public protests even in disregard to court injunctions and the Police refusing them permits. It is an essential prerequisite of the maintenance of the democratic system and processes which we all witness happening on the streets of even the so-called advanced Western democracies now and then. The running battles with the Police in France were recently on the Tv screens again. It's part of politics. Politics trumps all, including the law - which, btw, is only an accessory to politics as accounting is to business - but that should only be in the long run, in order to avoid arbitrariness in the governance of the citizens who are not compelled to live by the whims and caprices of the misleaders.

Sovereignty and power emanate from the people in a democracy. If they have been abused by those they are entrusted with, then the people, en mass, have every right to seize that sovereignty and power from the abusers, especially criminal abusers, and put them on trial. A political interregnum shall occur on midnight 7th Jan. 2021. The NPP should not be allowed to legitimately fill it with their allegedly defeated presidential candidate, Akufo Addo. It is therefore imperative that the NDC put before the whole world their empirical evidence of fraud, for we the discerning people to judge for ourselves if they indeed have a prima facie case. If they have that, it can win the unflinching support of even well-meaning and decent NPP supporters and world leaders to put pressure on an intransigent Akufo Addo to relent. And please, while doing that, don’t do it in Twi! The world is also watching and listening! So are we Ghanaians who don’t understand nor speak Twi.

All I want is to “rejoice in mourning” again, just as I did in 2000 and 2016.

Andy C.Y. Kwawukume

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