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11.01.2005 Politics

EC says it acted constitutionally in declaring Kufuor winner

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Accra, Jan. 11, GNA - The Electoral Commission (EC) on Tuesday reiterated that it acted according to the Constitution when it declared President John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) winner of the 2004 Presidential Election.

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, on December 9 declared President Kufuor winner with 52.75 per cent of the votes cast as against 44.32 per cent obtained by Professor John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The declaration was based on majority of the results obtained from 225 out of 230 constituencies.

However, some politicians have raised questions as to the manner in which a winner was declared since all of the results had not been declared.

The EC Chairman in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) maintained that the Commission acted within its constitutional frame as provided by Article 63 subsection (9) of the Constitution.

It states: "An instrument which - (a) is executed under the hand of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and under the seal of the Commission; and (b) states that the person named in the instrument was declared elected as the President of Ghana at the election of the President, shall be prima facie evidence that the person named was so elected." Dr Afari-Djan said based on the constitutional provision, anybody who disputed a part of the results so declared could go to court. Article 64 subsection (1) provides that: "The validity of the election of the President may be challenged only by a citizen of Ghana who may present a petition for the purpose to the Supreme Court within twenty-one days after the declaration of the result of the election in respect of which the petition is presented."

On the Parliamentary Results, the EC presented the final results for gazetting on December 29 and this would be published next week. The results for all the 230 constituencies released to the GNA on Tuesday, President Kufuor, candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) obtained 4,524,074, representing 52.45 per cent of the valid votes cast, to win Election 2004.

Professor John Evans Atta Mills of National Democratic Congress (NDC) got 3,850,368 votes representing 44.64 per cent, to place second. Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama, Candidate of the People's National Convention (PNC) had 165,375 votes, representing 1.92 per cent while Mr George Aggudey of the Convention People's Party (CPP) obtained 85,968 votes, representing 1.0 per cent. The results are yet to be gazetted. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, Communications Director of the Campaign team of the NDC Presidential Candidate, said the Party had tried unsuccessfully to get copies of the published results from the Assembly Press, publishers of Gazettes.

He said a lot of people had also tried to get copies but they were told that the publication was not ready.

He pointed out that the EC had not provided specific dates on which it sent the results for gazetting and interpreted this to mean some form of secrecy and lack of transparency.

The NDC, he said, was still studying various anomalies with respect to the results from polling stations and constituencies and would act based on the advice of its lawyers.

In the Parliamentary Election, the NPP won 128 seats, the NDC 94, PNC four, CPP three and one Independent.

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