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Why EC wants Mahama’s election petition dismissed

EC Chair, Jean Mensa

The Electoral Commission (EC) has urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the election petition of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

The presidential candidate of the party, John Dramani Mahama, on December 29  petitioned the court to declare a run-off in the December 7 presidential elections.

A petition filed by his legal counsel, Tony Lithur, said his client has evidence that no candidate satisfied the constitutional requirement to be declared president.

By law, a candidate must obtain 50% plus one to be declared the winner of the presidential elections.

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, on December 9, 2020, declared the incumbent Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo president-elect.

On that day, she said he polled 51.59% of the valid votes cast while his arch-rival John Mahama obtained 47.36%.

But Mr Mahama rejected the results and maintained they were fictionalised and fraudulent.

A portion of the petitioner’s claim reads;

“The claim that the percentage of votes obtained by 2nd respondent was 51.595% of the total valid votes that she herself distinctively stated to have been 13, 434, 574, was a manifest error as votes cast for 2nd respondent would amount to 50.098% and not the 51.595% erroneously declared,” the petition stated.

The court action came days after numerous street protests.

Mr. Mahama wants the highest court of the land to amongst other things to restrain President Akufo-Addo from holding himself as the President-elect.

However, the President was sworn-in on January 7, 2021.

In its 10-page response, the EC indicated that despite its preparations and resources put in place, there is a possibility of discrepancies especially with regard to mathematical errors during the collation of results, but those errors did not have any significant effect on the final election results that saw Nana Akufo-Addo emerging as the winner of the polls.

“There is a possibility of minor discrepancies as a result of computational and mathematical errors made in the course of the collation of the results but these did not have a material effect on the overall results as declared,” the EC indicated.

“The claims in the petition are contrived, have no legal basis and ought to be dismissed,” it said.

It further denied breaching the constitution in the declaration of the election results saying, it “did not breach the constitution and that the [Mahama’s] petition has no merit.”

The EC said it “complied with all the processes and procedures laid down by law for the conduct of the 7th December 2020 Presidential Election with fairness to every candidate and without malice, ill will or bias against anyone.

“1st Respondent [EC] maintains that in a bid to enhance transparency and public participation in the electoral process, it published all Regional Election Summary Sheets (Form 12) on its website. A simple tabulation of same would show that the 2nd Responded indeed won the election as declared,” it stated.

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