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14.03.2013 Elections

Election Petition: Mahama Applies For Issues For Determination

By DAILY GRAPHIC
Akufo-Addo & John Mahama 2012Akufo-Addo & John Mahama 2012
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President John Dramani Mahama has filed an application praying the Supreme Court to set out a number of issues for determination in the petition challenging his legitimacy.

Among the issues he is requesting the court to determine are whether or not failure by presiding officers or their assistants to sign declaration forms invalidates the declared results on those forms, notwithstanding the signatures of polling and/or counting agents of the presidential candidates.

He is also praying the court to order the petitioners to state the precise number of polling stations where voting took place without biometric verification and whether or not ballots cast without prior biometric verification were allegedly taken into account by the Electoral Commission (EC).

President Mahama is also urging the court to order the petitioners to state the precise number of polling stations where different results on the statement of poll and declaration of results for the President bore the same polling station codes.

President Mahama, who through his lawyer, Mr Tony Lithur, filed the application for directions on issues to be set out for trial on March 13, 2013 at the registry of the Supreme Court, is also praying the court to strike out allegations that the total votes cast exceeded the number of ballot papers issued to voters at polling stations.

He is additionally pleading with the court to strike out allegations that there were many instances when the total number of votes cast at polling stations exceeded the total number of registered voters at polling stations in the December 2012 presidential election.

According to him, the issues he was asking to be struck out were not part of the petitioners pleadings to give rise for the court to determine.

The Petitioners
The petitioners — Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey — filed the petition at the highest court of the land praying it to annul votes cast in 11,916 polling stations due to what they termed “gross and widespread irregularities”.

They had, in a December 28, 2012 petition, called for the annulment of votes cast in 4,709 polling stations but amended their petition on February 9, 2013 after the court had granted them permission to do so and cited 11,916 polling stations as the total number of polling stations where alleged irregularities were recorded.

The three had initially called for the cancellation of 1,342,845 valid votes cast during the election at 4,709 polling stations due to the alleged irregularities recorded during the elections, but are now urging the Supreme Court to pronounce an additional 3,327,659 valid votes cast as invalid.

The Supreme Court, on February 7, 2013, granted the petitioners' prayer of amendment and accordingly allowed the amendment.

Respondents
President Mahama, who is the first respondent, the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the second and third respondents, respectively, have filed their responses.

They have all refuted the petitioners' allegations on the grounds that President Mahama won the elections legitimately in the full glare of the media, local and international election observers.

The NDC applied to join the petition on December 31, 2012 and was duly granted permission by a 6-3 majority decision of the Supreme Court on January 22, 2013.

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