AUGUST 22, 2013 (Page 13)
LAWYERS for President John Dramani Mahama and the petitioners in the election petition have stated that it is not for the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to determine that the losing party in the petition should not apply for review in the interest of peace.
While lawyers for the petitioners and President Mahama maintained it was not for the IEA to determine the next line of action to be taken after the delivery of the judgement, lawyers for the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), have declined to comment on the matter.
In a statement issued on August 20, 2013, the IEA urged the party that would lose in the petition challenging the legitimacy of President Mahama to refrain from seeking a review in the interest of peace.
But in an interview with the Daily Graphic, counsel for President Mahama, Mr Tony Lithur, said “it is not for the IEA to determine,” and pointed out that, “that decision is for the parties to make.”
For his part, one of the lawyers for the petitioners, Mr Akoto Ampaw, said “the IEA is not a legal authority and not a party in the matter.”
He also stated that the petitioners would await the judgement of the Supreme Court in order to know the next line of action to take.
When reached for their reaction to the IEA statement, lawyers for the EC and the NDC, Mr James Quashie-Idun and Mr Tsatsu Tsikata respectively stated, “no comment.”
In a related development, the National Chairman of the NPP and one of the petitioners in the case, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, said the issue on whether or not to go for review was not for the petitioners to decide.
He explained that the decision to go to court was determined by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but he and the other petitioners went to court because Article 64 (1) required an individual or individuals to file a presidential election petition.
In a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra today, Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, disclosed that he and the presidential candidate of the NPP in the December 2012 presidential election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamadu Bawumia would tommorrow (August 22, 2013) meet the NEC to officially inform it of what had so far transpired in court.
“After the verdict, the National Executive Council will meet again to decide what next. It is not for me as an individual to state what to do next,” he added.
Parties in the petition
The parties in the ongoing presidential election petition are - the petitioners, President Mahama, the EC and the NDC.
The petitioners are calling for the annulment of 3,931,339 votes cast in 10,119 polling stations across the country because of what they termed gross and widespread irregularities of over-voting, persons voting without undergoing biometric verification, some presiding officers not signing pink sheets (statement of poll and declaration of results form for the office of President) and some pink sheets having duplicate serial numbers.
But President Mahama, the EC and the NDC, who are the respondents in the petition, have denied the claims and have argued that the petitioners were not able to prove the said infractions in court to warrant the annulment of votes and the subsequent declaration of Nana Akufo-Addo as President.
Evidence has been adduced and the court is billed to give its judgment on August 29, 2013.
• According to the IEA, its suggestion will "facilitate the process of national reconciliation and unity".
• The IEA has called on the winning party to refrain from provocative victory celebrations and taunting of the other party.
• It also urged all Ghanaians to remain calm and trust in the competence of the Supreme Court to deliver a fair judgement.