Wednesday, February 27, 2013
President wants specific information on alleged irregularities
February 2, 2013 (Page 18) PRESIDENT John Dramani Mahama, is entreating the Supreme Court to direct petitioners challenging his being declared as winner in the December 2012 presidential elections to provide specific information on alleged irregularities during the elections. In a motion on notice seeking leave from the court to serve the petitioners with interrogatories, President Mahama seeks to "elicit from the petitioners a clarification of the method by which they arrived at the aggregate number of 1,342,845, which they are asking the Honourable Court to annul on the basis of alleged irregularities and/or malpractice." According to the President "the application is brought in good faith and for the purposes of promoting a fair, open, cost effective and efficient trial.” President Mahama argued that the answering of the interrogatories would assist him to adequately prepare his defence. Among the issues the President is seeking clarity on are specific details on allegations such as over voting, voting without biometric verification, same serial numbers for polling stations occurred and absence of signatures of some presiding officers among others. The President’s interrogatories also expects the petitioners to state the mode and method used in deducting votes from votes initially declared for each presidential candidate by the Electoral Commission. The President's motion for leave to serve interrogatories on the petitioners made the reference to 1,342,845 votes, because the motion was filed a day before the petitioners amended their petition to declare 4,670,504 invalid. The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 2012 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, in an original petition dated, December 28, 2013, are praying the court to annul votes cast in 4,709 polling stations due to "gross and widespread irregularities". The respondents in the petition are President Mahama and the EC, who organized the elections and declared President Mahama winner with 50.70 per cent. But in an amended petition, dated January 31, 2013, the petitioners are praying the court to annul 4,670,504 valid votes cast during the election at 11,916 polling stations where alleged irregularities were recorded. The petitioners are also seeking to introduce the claim that there were 28 locations where elections took place which according to them, were not part of the 26,002 polling stations created by the EC. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the motion to amend the petition on January 5, 2013. Writer's e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.