Wednesday, March 27, 2013

327 Voters join petition - They say election was transparent

 March 12, 2013 (Page 3 Lead)

Three hundred and twenty-seven voters have applied to join the petition challenging the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama, as the winner of the December 2012 polls.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear their motion for joinder on March 14, 2013.
According to the applicants, the elections were so transparent that there were no disputes after the declaration of the results; and for that reason it came as a surprise to them when the petitioners identified their polling stations, as among those where irregularities allegedly took place.
In 35 different applications, the 327 applicants stated that they were bringing the action in their capacity as citizens, who cast their ballots during the December 7 and 8, 2012 polls.
The applicants are from some of the 11,916 polling stations, constituencies and regions where alleged irregularities have been cited by the petitioners
The applicants, who filed their applications on March 3, 7 and 8, 2013 respectively are being represented by Mr Kwabena Senanu, Mr Stephen Ahor and Mr Eric Tieku, all legal practitioners.
According to the applicants, their attention had been drawn to the petitioners’ prayer for votes to be annulled in 11,916 polling stations, and since they were citizens who cast their ballots and witnessed what happened on voting day they did not want their votes to be annulled.
According to them, there was the need for them to be heard by the court, because it was their right under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution to vote.
They argued that it would be unjust for their votes to be annulled because they underwent biometric verification before casting their ballots.
The applicants attached their voter identity cards as exhibits to the documents they have filed for the Supreme Court’s perusal.
Also attached to their filed papers as exhibits, were votes cast in favour of each presidential candidate at their respective polling stations during the December 2012 presidential polls.
Contention of the 327 applicants
The contention of the applicants were that to the best of their knowledge and recollection; there were no protests by any political parties when the results were declared at the polling station level.
They are, therefore, praying the court to offer them the opportunity to protect their votes.
A particular application, which has Iddrisu Mohammed, as the lead applicant, with nine others from Dungu Primary School in the Sagnarigu Constituency stated that, “as voters who had lawfully exercised their franchise, we say that we are directly interested in the outcome of the petition.”
“We also wish to protect our validly cast votes based on which the results of the presidential election were declared,” an affidavit in support stated.
According to them their being allowed to join would protect their interests, ensure that all matters in the present petition were “fully and effectually adjudicated upon and determined.
They further contended that they would suffer “irreparable hardship if our votes were cancelled, in that we would have been denied our constitutional right to be part of the decision making process of the country, a right which we are advised by counsel, is guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution; and is inalienable; and which cannot be compensated in any way whatsoever.”

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