A majority decision won’t place Akufo-Addo in power

Thu, 29 Aug 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

Friends, we are gradually enjoying the sneak peek that we are taking into the atmosphere at the Supreme Court regarding the determination of the NPP’s election petition vis-à-vis the out-of-court theatricals and media posturing. As we inch toward August 29, we recognize the self-assurances that influence public rhetoric in the NPP camp, especially.

So far, the NDC camp has been tactically quiet, creating the wrong impression among critics that it is apprehensive of defeat. The atmosphere for posturing has, therefore, been hogged by the petitioners.

Thanks to what has been revealed about Sammy Awuku’s utterances as captured in the secret tape—whether he is vehemently denying them or not—we can tell how the tide flows in that political camp and why the NPP members are bracing themselves up with anticipation of victory on August 29. Oh, how I wish they would tread cautiously!!

I have heard some of them petulantly claim that the verdict to favour them will be either 7–2 or 5–4. In effect, they are optimistic that the majority decision will favour them.

At this mention of the “majority decision,” I laugh my heart out. What is that supposed to mean or to do for their sad fate to be reversed? It is not as if by a mere majority decision, they will be elevated to political office. It is not as if by any majority decision, Akufo-Addo will become Ghana’s President as an entitlement and in fulfillment of his long-nursed ambition. A majority decision will rather take him closer to the dead-end to languish all the more. Will he go or come?

Here are some nagging issues that these NPP people cannot comprehend. They all have to do with the fundamental framework within which the hearing is fixed. I repeat these two main tasks that the Supreme Court set itself:

a. to first establish whether or not there were statutory violations, irregularities, omissions and malpractices in the 2012 general elections; and

b. to ascertain whether violations, irregularities, omissions and malpractices affected the results of the election.

Okay, granted that all the 9 judges agree that there were statutory violations, irregularities, omissions and malpractices in the 2012 general elections, so what? They will move on to the next level, which is where I expect some serious intellectual work to determine whether the violations, irregularities, omissions and malpractices affected the results of the election.

Let’s assume that the NPP SYMPATHIZERS on the panel (thanks to Sammy Awuku’s claims and snippets of information from other sources) agree that the violations, irregularities, omissions and malpractices affected the results of the election. So what?

The matter thickens at this next stage. What will they do or say? Many options:

• That the over 4 million votes identified by the petitioners as the cause of Akufo-Addo’s defeat be annulled?

• That the declaration of President Mahama by the EC as winner of the elections be set aside?

• That Akufo-Addo is the rightful winner of the elections? By what yardstick, though? On the basis of the pink sheet records from only the strongholds of the NDC, not the entire country? Or the primary evidence of voting (the valid ballot papers), which the petitioners never drew attention to throughout their arguments?)

• That recounting of votes be done in identifiable polling stations at issue?

• That a re-run of the entire elections be done (within what time frame, though, and to be supervised by which institution? This same EC that would have been established by that finding to be inefficient and discredited?).

And many more contentions that a mere majority position on the panel cannot address to give victory on a silver platter to the petitioners?

At this point, then, it should become obvious that a mere majority position won’t put Akufo-Addo in power. So, why should these NPP people continue deceiving themselves about SYMPATHIZERS on the panel as if the determination of the case hinges on the political sentiments of the judges and not the evidence/facts that the Court called for to help it determine the case?

The real issues that will bother the Supreme Court will be how to make recommendations to enhance future general elections. That is where much energy will be expended, not replacing President Mahama with Akufo-Addo, which is impossible because it is not within the purview of the Supreme Court but rather the EC after a thorough collection/collation, and certification of election results.

We note here that the Supreme Court has so far not even scrutinized the collation forms from the various polling stations nor has it been given the opportunity to examine any ballot paper. So, will determining the winner of the elections not be out of the Supreme Court’s hand and reverted to the statutory body constitutionally mandated to organize elections and declare the outcome, which is the EC?

The judges know that they cannot discount/disqualify/invalidate votes that were genuinely cast, counted, and certified on December 7 and 8, let alone annul the votes of over 4 million responsible citizens whose decision to exercise their franchise is a plus for our constitution, more so when that exercise of the franchise took place in a calm atmosphere throughout the country.

It is not the legitimate duty of the Supreme Court to annul anybody’s vote!! On what basis will it be doing so since it is not the body mandated to determine the validity or otherwise of votes cast at the elections?

That understanding must be what informed the judges to reframe the NPP’s petition which, unfortunately, has misled the petitioners and their followers into thinking that once there is an admission that there were statutory violations, irregularities, omissions and malpractices in the 2012 general elections, then, they will win the case. Too simplistic and misleading a position to take; not so?

To my NPP fellows, let me reiterate that a mere majority decision won’t take you to the land of milk and honey. Once again, the Red Sea will refuse to part for your Akufo-Addo to lead you through to get there. He has no rod, in the first place, to cause the parting of the Red Sea.

And that is where the dilemma thickens. Should you return to the very political land that you were attempting to flee from or remain stuck at the banks of the Red Sea? The bleak future beckons.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.