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Mahama’s petition disclosed a reasonable cause of action – SC restates

Mahama’s petition disclosed a reasonable cause of action – SC restates

 Mahama’s petition disclosed a reasonable cause of action – SC restates

A justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo has

said that the courts in any election petition are interested in the

results of the voters and whether it was a reflection of the

rules of engagement of the process.

The Supreme Court justice who was one of the panel members on

the just-ended election petition told a high-level post-election review

workshop organized by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers

(CODEO), an election will be annulled upon the occurrence of infractions

that actually affect the votes or the citizens, cast at polling stations

and not the incidents of administrative errors committed by

those charged with the conduct of the elections.

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She has been explaining why the panel ruled on the petition the

way it did, encouraging political players to be guided by the expectations

of the law on election petitions before they head to the court in future.

“We have stated in the judgment that allegations that relate to the

integrity of elections, if proved may impact the validity of the election

and therefore we found enough reason to dismiss the preliminary

objection and that there was a reasonable cause of action before us,” she said.

The court held a similar position in its final verdict on the case.

Justice Torkornoo further said the decision of the Electoral Commission

(EC) to correct anomalies in the declaration of the 2020 election

results was in accordance with law.

She said this formed one of the basis for the ruling the panel of

justices gave on the just-ended election petition.

Her comments follow concerns by the opposition National Democratic

Congress (NDC), claiming that there were several errors in the declaration

of the poll results which invalidate the entire process and raise

integrity questions against the elections management body.

Deputy campaign coordinator of the NDC Alex Segbefia, had told

3news on the sidelines forum that the confusion in the communication

of the EC still leaves several doubts in the minds of many on what the

exact figures of the elections are till date, arguing more than two

corrections were made after the declaration of results

But Ms. Torkornoo told the forum, the law in article 297, section 22 of

the interpretations act 2009, act 792, allows a public officer

to correct a mistake committed.

“There was a spreadsheet alleging vote padding of 4,693 votes in 26

constituencies and we said we would have expected that the pink sheet

for those polling stations would have been exhibited to prove the

allegation instead of a spreadsheet.

“The conclusion was that even if one took out these 4,693 votes, it would not

impact on the 6million plus votes that the candidate we were dealing with.”

The Presidential Candidate of the NDC in last year’s elections,

John Dramani Mahama filed a petition at the apex court challenging

the results of the polls as announced by the Chair of the EC, Jean Mensa.

Mr. Mahama asked the court to order a rerun of the elections because,

in his view, no candidate polled the number of votes needed to

be declared winner of the presidential elections.

However, after nearly three months of hearing the petition,

the Supreme Court dismissed the case saying it was without merit.

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