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General News Sat, 20 Jul 2013

Election Petition Judges will be fair - Otchere Darko

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute Gabby Asare Otchere Darko says he is convinced the judges hearing the Presidential Election Petition will deliver a fair judgement in August.

He said even the judgements that have attended the various objections and motions raised or filed during the six month hearing are enough testimony that the final judgement will be fair.

He was speaking on Joy FM and Multi-TV's news analysis programme, Newsfile on Saturday on the need for peace after the election petition verdict.

There has been an overwhelming crusade for peace and acceptance of the verdict by the Supreme Court in the case in which three Petitioners in the opposition New Patriotic Party are challenging the results of the 2012 general elections which was declared in favour of the incumbent president John Mahama.

The Petition, which is in its sixth month, is due to end in August with a verdict that could go in the way of either the Petitioners or the Respondents.

Given the feisty nature of the hearing, concerns have been raised about the possibility of violence if the verdict does not go the way of the Petitioners or the Respondents.

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To drum home the need for peace after the verdict, the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) organised a peace forum, which got all political actors, traditional authorities and other civil society groups to rally round for peace.

Whilst commending IDEG and other peace campaigners, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko has dismissed fears the nine justices may not be fair in their judgement.

He said all the parties involved in the case, have at one time or another, been peeved with the rulings given by the Justices on several objections, an indication that the Justices in their rulings, are only interested in the facts and arguments behind those facts and not based on their personal biases.

Otchere Darko said the leadership of the political parties must begin to sensitize its grass root members about the need for peace after the verdict is given.

According to him, the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie has already conducted several regional peace sensitization tours all in a bid to let people accept the verdict of the court.

A member of the NDC legal team who was also on the show said the decision to or not to accept the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition must not be left to the protagonists involved in the case.

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Abraham Amaliba said too much is at stake to allow only President John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo to take that decision.

He said the country must be bold enough to tell the two contending parties to accept the results by the Justices.

Amaliba charged former Presidents Kufuor and Rawlings to begin to speak to Nana Akufo-Addo and President John Mahama to accept the verdict whichever way it goes.

Citing, the "All-die-be-die" mantra as an example, Abraham Amaliba said he was surprised that nobody spoke against that mantra, not even the religious leaders.

He said it is time to get these leaders to go along the path of peace.

Source: joyonline
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