Mahama blames illiterate party agents for election 2020 loss

Persons who could neither read nor write who served as party polling agents affected the fortunes of the NDC in the 2020 polls, former President John Mahama has said.

The flagbearer of the NDC in the last elections explained it was one of many reasons captured in reports which assessed the elections.

The party asked its regional chairpersons to conduct a review of the 2020 polls.

“There was one region; I won’t mention which region it was. They said, ‘some of our party agents were illiterates, they could not read nor write’. So the chairman asked, ‘who appointed them to be party agents?’” Mr Mahama stated.

Speaking at the annual conference of the NDC’s Professionals Forum on Thursday, April 29, he said the party was conducting an internal audit of the polls.

Mr Mahama, therefore, advised professionals and tertiary students within the NDC to avail themselves to serve in critical areas during elections.

“If you have the qualification to be a presiding officer or an electoral officer, apply for it. Our opponents have taken advantage of it, so you find that when the EC (Electoral Commission) advertises, many of their people apply, and you know what kind of advantages that can give them.

“And so we need to get more of our members, including our student movement, to get involved in becoming party agents at polling stations,” he admonished.

This is the first time former President Mahama has spoken publicly about internal activities that affected the party.

He is yet to publicly concede defeat after he disagreed with a Supreme Court verdict that upheld President Akufo-Addo’s victory.

Incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP was re-elected in the first round after securing a majority of the votes in the last elections.

The NPP lost its majority in the parliament, winning just as many seats as the opposition NDC, resulting in a hung parliament with a single independent in the position of kingmaker.

The EC said President Akufo-Addo garnered  51.59 percent of the votes against Mahama’s 47.37 percent.

However, former President Mahama and the NDC said it was not a true reflection of the December 7 polls.

Mr. Mahama wanted the EC to organize a rerun between him and the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.

The case ended up in days of legal battle, but the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the EC.

A seven-member panel presided over by Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah, determined the case.

Other panel members were Yaw Apau, Samuel K. Marful Sau, Nene Amegathcher, Professor Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu, and Gertrude Torkornoo.

The verdict said the petition challenging the declaration of the NPP presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo as the winner of the polls failed to meet the legal threshold.

The ruling, which is the longest yet in the Supreme Court, took almost 2 hours to deliver.

The court pointed out that the petitioner, John Mahama, failed to provide any evidence to prove that the declaration by the EC boss Jean Mensa was rigged with errors.

 

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