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General News Thu, 31 Jul 2008

EC wins case on declaration of 2004 presidential result

Accra, July 31 GNA - The Supreme Court by unanimous decision on Thursday ruled that the Electoral Commission of Ghana acted within its constitutional mandate when it declared Mr John Agyekum Kufour of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as the winner of the December 7, 2004 elections.

The court also ruled that even though the action of the plaintiffs was valid, the challenge of the result failed on its merit.

Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo who presided said the court had dealt with greater part of the case and there nothing much to be done.

Other members on the panel were Mr Justice Allan Brobbey, Mr Justice Darte- Baah, Mrs Sophia Adinyirah and Mr Justice Julius Ansah. In 2006, three NDC members Mr Rojo Mettle Nunoo, Mr Clend Sowu and Mr Kofi Portuphy commenced legal action seeking an order of the court restraining the EC and its agents from destroying elections documents and materials, pending the final determination of the suit.

The court said the claims sought by the plaintiffs for the EC to publish the results from 230 constituencies was not necessary since the EC at the various polling stations declared the results certified by representatives of the various political parties.

It said the contention by plaintiffs that the EC had not declared the full and complete results could not be supported because the EC fully discharged its constitutional duties when it declared and gazetted the results.

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The court also said the action of the plaintiffs was perfectly legal and that they were seeking to challenge the process and manner the results were declared.

It was the case of Plaintiffs that at the time the Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan declared the incumbent President winner of the presidential polls, it did not base its declaration on the total results from 230 constituencies of the country, since only those from 225 constituencies were used.

Additionally, plaintiffs claim that the defendant on the following day held a press conference and basing its declarations on total results from 227 out of the 230 constituencies, declared the incumbent president, winner of the polls.

Plaintiffs contended that the results at the time should have been declared as provisional, until all results from the 230 constituencies were collated.

"Up to date of instituting the present suit, the defendant has not declared the full and complete results of the Presidential Elections of December 7, 2004."

Plaintiffs argued that the collation and declaration of election results in a transparent manner and in time formed an integral part of the constitutional duty of the defendant, mandated under the laws of the country to conduct and supervise all public elections and referenda in Ghana. 31 July 08

Source: GNA
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