Monday, January 7, 2013

Akufo-Addo opposes NDC joinder to petition

January 7, 2013 (Page 13) THE Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 2012 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is opposed to the request by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be joined in a petition challenging the results of the 2012 polls. According to him, the move by the NDC was “calculated to delay” the action challenging the 2012 presidential polls which President John Dramani Mahama emerged the winner with 50.70 per cent. The application by the NDC to join the petition challenging the declaration of President John Dramani as winner of the December 2012 elections will be heard on Thursday, January 10, 2013. However, in an application opposing the NDC’s request filed on Saturday, January 5, 2013, Nana Akufo-Addo said the NDC’s application would defeat the object of the new Supreme Court rules which was aimed at securing an expeditious trial in a petition challenging the results of a presidential election. The Supreme Court rule states that hearing of a petition against a Presidential election shall be done on a daily basis including public holidays. Rule 69 C (5) of the Supreme Court (Amendment) Rules, 2012 (C.I. 74) provides in part as follows: "the Court shall sit from day to day, including public holidays" when hearing a presidential election petition. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is at the Supreme Court contesting the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) declaration of President Mahama as the winner in the 2012 Presidential elections. The Electoral Commission (EC) has been joined to the petition which has Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate of the NPP presidential candidate and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Chairman of the NPP as plaintiffs. According to the plaintiffs, irregularities recorded during the elections favoured the NDC, noting that 24,000 of the pink result sheets from some polling stations indicated that those irregularities were enough to affect the results. The affidavit in support of the motion for joinder deposed on behalf of the NDC by its General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the NDC as a party on whose ticket the President contested the elections “has a direct interest and a stake in the matter and will be affected by any decision of this honourable court.” “As a party which will be directly affected by the decision, the NDC is entitled to be joined as a party and be heard in respect of the petition and seek to be joined by the motion herein,” the affidavit in support pointed out. But an affidavit opposing NDC’s application for joinder, deposed by Nana Akufo-Addo said the NDC was an unnecessary party to the determination of the issues in controversy. This, according to the affidavit, was because President Mahama had already been joined to the petition and there was, therefore, no need to join the NDC to the petition. It premised its argument on the reason that it was President Mahama and not the NDC that was declared winner in the polls stressing “the NDC was not a candidate in the elections.” The Chairman of the EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, on December 9, 2012 declared President Mahama winner of the polls with 50.70 per cent while his closest contender, Nana Akuffo Addo placed second with 47.74 per cent. The declaration was gazetted by the Declaration of President-elect Instrument 2012 (CI 80) on December 11, 2012.

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