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NPP petitioners send their double standards to court

Wed, 24 Apr 2013 Source: Dekportor, Mensah

The issue of voting without biometric verification has been prominently raised by Nana Akuffo Addo, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and Dr. Bawumia in the election petition currently before the Supreme Court. It has been raised as grounds for nullifying thousands of votes in the 2012 election and as a basis for setting aside the results of the election as declared by the Electoral Commission.

The full implication of a decision on this issue as raised by the petitions can be appreciated if the issue is examined within the context of the procedure that was used for voting during the elections. The procedure used required a voter to go through biometric verification prior to casting their votes for both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Voters after going through biometric verification by the machines were then first given Presidential ballot papers to cast their votes and then later given Parliamentary ballot papers to cast their votes. In other words a single biometric verification procedure was applied for both Presidential and Parliamentary election votes cast. Therefore any challenge of the results declared based on non utilization of biometric verification that requires the Supreme Court to nullify votes in the Presidential Elections only is obviously problematic. What happens to results that have been declared in parliamentary elections using the same method of verification and ground of challenge (non utilization of biometric verification) as claimed by the petitioners? It appears the Petitioners do not have a problem with the method of voter identity verification adopted for the parliamentary elections and yet have a problem with the same method as utilized for the Presidential elections.

On this ground of voting without biometric verification, the petitioners would have made more sense if they had called for a nullification of both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, asking the Supreme Court to nullify Presidential election votes on this ground without asking that same be done for Parliamentary election votes is obviously problematic and untenable.

Any decision the court takes on this ground in favour of the petitioners is obviously unjustifiable. Besides, there are obvious constitutional challenges that affect the issue of voter identification which the court would have to consider. How about the fact that the voters had no role to play in the non functioning of the biometric verification machines or the inability of the machines to capture their finger prints as happened in some cases? Why should the voter be made to suffer the consequences of any lapses at the Electoral Commission? The petitioners are indeed on the battle field but are they really prepared with a war plan that secures victory? Certainly not?

God bless our homeland, Ghana.

Long live President Mahama.

Report By: Mensah Dekportor

NDC Germany Communication Director

Email: cmdekportor@gmal.com

Columnist: Dekportor, Mensah