Databank’s Ken Ofori-Atta backs NPP’s election petition

Ken Ofori-Atta
Ken Ofori-Atta

Chairman of investment bank, Databank, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has thrown his weight behind the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) election petition currently being heard by a panel at the Supreme Court.

According to the retired investment banker, the case before the court will shape political competition not only in Ghana but by extension the whole of Africa.

He believes that the court case could also lead to the first invalidation of the election of a sitting African President.

The NPP is asking the Supreme Court to annul over four million votes that went in favour of President John Dramani Mahama on the basis of electoral irregularities, malpractices and omission.

In an opinion piece published exclusively in The Africa Report magazine’s June 2013 edition, Mr Ofori-Atta said the annulment of these votes, if granted, would lead to the results being overturned in favour of Nana Akufo-Addo who was the 2012 Flagbearer of the NPP.

“It would be a first in Africa for an elected President who has also been sworn into office to be made to step down because of a challenge to the validity of his election,” Mr Ofori-Atta wrote.

The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) on December 9, 2012 declared John Dramani Mahama President-elect after the 2012 general elections.

According to the EC, President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) received 5, 574,761 votes, or 50.70%.
Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had 5, 248 898 of the votes or 47.74%, followed by Dr. Papa Kwedi Nduom of the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) with 38, 223 votes – that is 0.59%.

Henry Herbert Lartey of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) has 38,223 votes or 0.35% of valid votes cast, Hassan Ayariga of the Peoples National Convention (PNC) has 24,617 or 0.22% of valid votes cast. Dr. Abu Sakara of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) has  20, 323 votes making 0.18% of valid votes cast.

The Independent candidate, Jacob Osei Yeboah has 15,201 or 0.14% of valid votes cast and Kwasi Oddai Odike of the United Front Party (UFP) has 8,877 of valid votes cast which is 0.08%.

According to the EC total valid votes cast is 10,995,262 and 251,720 votes were rejected. Voter turnout was 79.43%, it said.

Mr Ofori-Atta says the NPP is confident about its petition as it is based on the “Statement of the Poll and Declaration of Results Forms, called ‘pink sheets’.” He added “they [pink sheets] are the primary evidence of election results in Ghana”.

He stated that by the petitioners’ analyses, removing the “supposedly illegal votes would add more than ten percentage points to the results declared for Akufo-Addo and reduce Mahama’s share of the votes by a similar margin”

With many saying Ghana’s election petition may end up like the one in Kenya where the country’s Supreme Court reaffirmed the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Databank Chairman opined that the petition against Kenyatta lacked something that the NPP has in “relative abundance” and that is time.

“The fact that the petitioners were able to gather more than 24,000 of the 26,002 pink sheets has helped them present their case, based purely on documentary evidence,” Mr Ofor-Atta added.

In his conclusion, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta wrote “Elections in Ghana will never be the same, regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court case. It could ensure that election results truly reflect the majority will of the people, nothing more, nothing less. Elections, after all, should not be reduced to a competition to find who is best at rigging.”

By Ekow Quandzie

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