The Petitioners in the Presidential Election Petition have proven to the Court in their written address that any one of the four main categories of irregularities, if sustained by the Court, is enough to invalidate the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the December Presidential Elections.
In their written submissions, the petitioners restricted themselves to 10,119 polling stations on which they relied on to make an analysis of the impact of the various statutory and constitutional violations and irregularities the petitioners are seeking the court to sustain.
The petitioners indicate that they decided to rely on 10,119 polling stations because it is those polling stations that fit the strict criteria set. The address states:
“The criteria for determining the total number of polling stations petitioners are relying on for purposes of this submission are that, they must:
• be captured in the further and better particulars
• be supported by the affidavit of the 2nd petitioner or appropriately re-categorised with leave of the Court a
• have unique polling station codes (except for the duplicate polling station code category where separate results are recorded on two or three different pink sheets with the same polling station code)
• be captured in the KPMG Report or used by the respondents in their cross-examination of the 2ndpetitioner.
• not be part of the 704 polling stations the petitioners deleted with leave of the Court. ”
On the basis of the 10,119 polling stations, the petitioners proceeded to prove to the court how many polling stations are affected in the various categories of irregularities and how their annulment, should the court sustain the petitioners’ argument, would impact the results declared.
The petitioners indicate that using the 10,119 polling stations, over voting occurred in a total of 1,722 polling stations while the occurrence of voting without biometric verification occurred in 2,020 polling stations. The irregularity of absence of Presiding officers’ signature occurred in a total of 1,638 polling stations while the use of duplicate serial numbers on pink sheets affected 8,987 polling stations.
The analysis of the petitioners, are all backed by details of the polling stations including polling station names, polling station codes, pink sheet serial numbers and votes secured by the various candidates in various polling stations contained in the volume 2 of the addresses submitted.
In total, 3,931,339 votes are affected by the various irregularities in the 10,119 polling stations being challenged by the petitioners. When the results of these polling stations are annulled, John Mahama’s votes would be reduced by 2,622,551 which will result in him securing 41.79% of the new tally of valid votes. Nana Akufo – Addo’s votes would also be reduced by 1,233,186 but that will still see him securing 56.85% of the of the new tally of valid votes, much more than the needed 50% + 1 to be declared as winner of the Presidency.
The petitioners also showed in their addresses that all the four main irregularities on their own had a material impact on the results declared and that annulling the polling stations affected by any of the four irregularities will mean that the declared winner, John Mahama, did not secure the required over 50%.
On over voting, the analysis shows that a total of 745,569 votes are affected in the 1,722 polling stations where over voting occurred. Out of this, 504,014 went in favor of John Mahama and would thus have to be annulled while 226,198 of the votes benefitted Nana Akufo – Addo and will have to be deducted. Annulling and deducting the votes as a result of over voting will reduce John Mahama’s share of the valid votes below the required over 50% to 49.47% while Nana Akufo – Addo will have 49.0% of the valid votes. This will mean that the Electoral Commission should have organized a run-off between the two leading candidates as nether of them secured the required 50% + 1 of the valid votes.
On the irregularity of voting without biometric verification, the petitioners have showed that a total of 813,866 votes are affected in the 2,020 polling stations where voting without biometric verification occurred. If annulled, 560,399 went in favor of John Mahama and will have to be deducted from his total. Deducting these votes will give John Mahama 49.25% of the valid votes while Nana Akufo – Addo’s votes will have to be reduced by 234,970, giving him also 49.25% of the valid votes. The Electoral Commission should have thus held a run-off to determine the winner of the elections.
On the category of the absence of Presiding officers’ signature, a total of 659,814 are affected. Out of these, 448,153 went in the favor of John Mahama while 197,890 were cast for Nana Akufo – Addo and will all have to be annulled. When the various votes are deducted as a result of the annulments, John Mahama will have 49.60% of the valid votes while 48.87%.
The category with the highest number of polling stations is that of the duplicate serial number category where 8.987 polling stations are affected. Should the court sustain the arguments of the petitioners on this irregularity, a total of 3,508,491 votes will have to be annulled with 2,344,540 and 1,097,169 affecting John Mahama and Nana Akufo – Addo respectively.
With these annulments and deductions, John Mahama will have 43.15% of the valid votes while Nana Akufo – Addo will have 55.45%. This means that the category of duplicate serial numbers by itself is enough to overturn the declared outcome of the elections.
The petitioners also showed that should the court annul the polling stations affected by any two of the four main categories of irregularities, it will be enough to give Nana Akufo – Addo, the required over 50% of the valid votes to be declared a outright winner of the elections.
For example, should the court uphold the argument of the petitioners on the twin categories of over voting and voting without biometric verification, 3,371 polling stations will have to be annulled with a total of 1,365,723 votes affected. Out of this total, 932,501 votes will have to be deducted from the total declared votes of John Mahama while 404,531 will have to be deducted from the votes of Nana Akufo – Addo. These deductions will bring John Mahama’s share of the valid votes to 48.21% while Nana Akufo – Addo’s will have 50.31%.
It should be noted that the over voting and voting without biometric verification categories are twin categories because technically every incident of no biometric verification in a polling station leads to over voting as it means that the number of ballots in the box at the end of voting will be more than the number of persons who were properly verified and fit to vote. This is Afari Gyan’s own definition of over voting on December 5th, 2012, two days before the election when he stated “that every polling station where the number of ballots in the box at the end of the voting was more than the number of people properly verified by the biometric device to vote would be annulled.”
All other combinations of any two categories as stated earlier brings John Mahama below the 50% mark and gives Nana Akufo – Addo the required 50% + 1 of the valid votes.
Source: Communications Directorate, NPP/Ghana
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