Claims in Election Petition are contrived, have no legal basis – EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) says the full results of the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election were known to Mr John Mahama and that the claims in his petition are contrived.

His claims have no legal basis and ought to be dismissed in limine, the Election management body said in a response to the election petition filed by Mr John Mahama seeking a re-run of the presidential election.

It also averred further that it posted a copy of the FORM 13 at the Head Office of the Commission as required by law.

The EC denied paragraphs 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35 of the Petition, puts Petitioner to strict proof thereof and said the averments by the Petitioner were misleading and self-serving and did not meet the requirement of law and fact for challenging the validity of the Election held on December 7, 2020.

The First Respondent denied all allegations of ‘vote padding’ contained in the Petition, stating that notwithstanding, all the resources and training deployed and the facilities put in place, there was a possibility of minor discrepancies as a result of computational and mathematical errors made in the course of the collation of results.

“But these did not have a material effect on the overall results as declared,” it said.

The First Respondent said after the declaration of December 9, 2020, four constituencies in the Greater Accra Region reported an update in the results announced in those constituencies, a net difference of 1 651 votes.

It said the update was factored into the December 10, 2020 Press Release, but it did not have a material effect on the overall results as declared.

The EC further denial of paragraph 32 of the Petition and contended that a tally of those constituencies referred to does not yield a difference of 5,662 as alleged by the Petitioner.

In further denial of the Petitioner’s claims, the First Respondent indicated that it complied with all the processes and procedures laid down by law for the conduct of the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election with fairness to every candidate and without malice, ill will or bias against anyone.

It also maintained that in a bid to enhance transparency and public participation in the electoral process, it published all the Regional Election Summary Sheets (Form 12) on its website.

“A simple tabulation of the same will show that President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Second Respondent, indeed won the election as declared,” the EC said.

It said the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election was regulated by the Fourth Republican Constitution, 1992 and the Public Elections Regulations, 2020 (CI 127).

The EC said prior to the Presidential Election, it put in place a system to help it deliver a seamless and timely collation of results.

It, therefore, announced to the public that it would declare the results of the Presidential Election within 24 hours after the close of polls.

The Commission also raised preliminary legal objection to the petition as being incompetent and not, as required by Article 64(1) of the Constitution and Rule 68(1) of the Supreme Court Rules, 1996 (C.I. 16) as amended, amounting to a challenge to the validity of the Presidential Election conducted by the 1st Respondent Commission on December 7, 2020.

It therefore, prayed that the Petition and all the grounds in support thereof be summarily dismissed by the Apex Court for not disclosing any reasonable cause of action.

Source: GNA

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