NPP Will Have A Tall Sell On Unsigned Pink Sheets

Mon, 5 Aug 2013 Source: Tweneboah-Koduah, Nana Akua

By Nana Akua Tweneboah-Koduah

The NDC has strongly stated that there is nowhere in the country’s Constitution that requires or justifies the annulment of votes cast if the Presiding Officer fails to sign the pink sheet. The party believes that the absence of the signature of the Presiding Officer on the pink sheet should therefore not justify annulment of votes that were cast lawfully in the exercise of the constitutional rights of citizens.

“While failure to sign constitutes a breach of the duty imposed on that election official by the Constitution, nowhere does the Constitution require or justify the annulment of votes cast and, hence, the results announced at the relevant polling station because of such a breach.”

The above statement forms part of the closing address by the third respondents in the petition case initiated by the NPP to challenge the results of the 2012 Presidential election won handily by President John Dramani Mahama. The NPP is asking the nine-panel Supreme Court justices to invalidate over 4 million valid votes cast in order to pave the way for the defeated NPP presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to be crowned the winner.

The NDC will argue that, “The Presiding Officers can be compelled to perform their duty to sign, by order of mandamus. Annulment of votes in these situations would not only be an unconstitutional deprivation of the right to vote of the citizen but would also amount to punishing innocent voters retroactively for the omission of the Presiding Officer.”

Another strong pitch that the NDC is debunking involves the over voting and none verification allegation by the NPP. The NDC will argue that, “There was no evidence that any voter in the election voted more than once or that any person not entitled to vote was allowed to vote.”

The NDC will forcefully inform the court that available evidence clearly and unambiguously show that NPP agents and agents of the other presidential candidates signed the declaration of results in the various polling stations after votes were counted in full public view. The NDC party therefore does not see why the NPP wants the valid votes in these polling stations to be thrown away.

“No complaint by the agents of the candidates at polling stations or constituency centres regarding over-voting was recorded anywhere. The claims of over voting of the Petitioners were, in large part, admitted not to hold and were abandoned by 2nd Petitioner under cross-examination. Claims still pressed by Petitioners are also untenable on a proper interpretation of information provided on the pink sheets and available evidence and must all be rejected.”

The NDC admitted the challenges of the country using biometric verification devices for the first time, but is emphatic that the biometric verification exercise was very successful and that no one voted without going through the biometric verification process. “The testimony provided by the Chairman of the 2nd Respondent, about the C3 column on the Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results for the office of the President forms (“the pink sheets”), was unchallenged and explained the problems the Presiding Officers had in filling that part of the pink sheet.”

The NDC will also punch holes in the claim by the NPP concerning unique serial numbers provided to polling station pink sheets. “The claim by the Petitioners that unique serial numbers were provided to polling station pink sheets was baseless and there was no irregularity involved in the same serial number appearing on more than one such pink sheet.”

“The attempt to nullify votes on this ground is absurd and to do so would also unconstitutionally deprive millions of citizens of their right to vote. Serial numbers are not, and have never been, security features on pink sheets, unlike ballot papers. Petitioners have provided no legal basis for this category of their claim.”

The NDC will also challenge the claims by the NPP about unknown polling stations as baseless. “Claims about unknown polling stations were also baseless and Petitioners who deployed agents on behalf of the 1st Petitioner cannot in good faith make these claims. Claims about different results being given for the same polling station are also not warranted.”

The NDC will further nail the NPP that, “The claims about vote padding in favour of 1st Respondent and reduction of votes of 1st Petitioner (except in one instance of an error in transposition affecting 80 votes), as well as allegations about improper receipt and transmission of results at the offices of Superlock Technologies Limited (“STL”), were withdrawn and were also not borne out by the evidence.”

If you are an NDC supporter and you have just read the above article, you should not panic but believe that the party is on solid ground to win this bogus case that the NPP is pursuing to cause detraction, create anxiety and panic and also to appease their peeved supporters.

One thing is clear: the NPP is strongly relying on the unsigned pink sheets which are a Constitutional requirement, but the same Constitution does not state that votes on unsigned pink sheets must be thrown away at the expense of voters who queued for hours to cast their votes which are a Constitutional mandated duty.


Columnist: Tweneboah-Koduah, Nana Akua