The NPP’s hot potatoes

Sun, 23 Dec 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

At long last, we now know what the NPP will go to the Supreme Court for. The party’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, has enumerated three reliefs that the party will seek:

i. The number of votes stolen for President Mahama to be deducted and those deducted from Nana Akufo-Addo to be restored.

ii. Polling stations where the number of voters were more than the number of people verified by the verification machines would be cancelled as stated by the EC prior to the elections.

iii. To contest why the “no verification no vote” statement of the EC was adhered to in the Ashanti Region, the stronghold of the NPP, but was ignored in the Northern, Greater Accra, and Volta regions. He praised the almighty God for helping the NPP to verify the series of theft committed by the NDC to win the elections illegally right on time, saying “the NPP shall win in court.

A brief analysis of the situation is apt at this stage.

Relief Number One

By the NPP’s own calculation, what exactly is the quantum of votes “stolen” for President Mahama that the Supreme Court will ask to be given to Akufo-Addo? We are not certain at this stage because of the conflicting figures so far given. From 15,000 votes to 50,000, then, to 100,000, and to 150,000, only to end up being raised to over one million votes by this same Kwadwo Owusu Affriyie. Where does the NPP stand?

Furthermore, by the NPP’s own calculations, how much was deducted from Akufo-Addo, which the Supreme Court will serve as an Accountant-General to order that the right calculation be done and those votes added to Akufo-Addo’s tally so that he could outdo President Mahama?

We recall the report of the CODEO that although the NPP is claiming to have been cheated, it was rather President Mahama who lost votes because of some irregularities. How is the NPP going to account for this claim? Again, why is the NPP so sure that the Supreme Court will accept its figures as the true reflection of the voters’ electoral decision at the polls? Is the NPP saying that of all the parties and independent candidates who contested the elections, it was only the NPP that could have access to figures that it is keeping under its armpit to dump on the Supreme Court as the truth inviolate?

Relief Number Two

The NPP’s demand that polling stations where the number of voters were more than the number of people verified by the verification machines would be cancelled as stated by the EC prior to the elections is just one of those loud allegations that may not be supported by evidence. Who has identified which polling station as such? We haven’t so far heard anything to that effect and will wait patiently for the NPP to prove this allegation before we get to know what is what.

Relief Number Three

What will the NPP gain by contesting why the “no verification no vote” statement of the EC was adhered to in the Ashanti Region (the stronghold of the NPP) but was ignored in the Northern, Greater Accra, and Volta regions? Where in those regions, though? Is that enough justification to change the equation or to call for a re-run of the elections in those regions? This aspect of their claims is really sweeping and won’t wash with anybody who monitored the balloting that took place.

My opinions

Now that we know what the NPP is gunning for, we are more eager to see its legal team in court instead iof this psychological warfare it has embarked on in the media. Although they are adamant that no one can stampede them to go to court because they still have 12 days more to do so, we have a hunch that they know how tough the battle they want to wage is and are seeking public sympathy. By their riotous behaviour, haven’t they already lost whatever sympathy they might have had even before the elections.

In all these claims, there is little talk of seeing Akufo-Addo installed as President, which suggests to me that they know they are trying to force a river to flow upstream. Granted that the Supreme Court agrees with them that the elections were marred by irregularities, the matter is likely to end there. By oversimplifying matters to say that votes were stolen for President Mahama and that those meant for Akufo-Addo were under-declared, they assume that if the Supreme Court grants their relief, then, everything will be put together to Akufo-Addo’s advantage. Complete wishful thinking.

A sharp dead-end is in sight for them. I have a funny feeling that the Supreme Court will not overturn the entire elections or nullify the results. Those in the NPP gearing themselves up to celebrate victory in this case had better think twice because their wishes won’t become horses for any beggar to ride. I don’t think that the Supreme Court has the mandate to declare any winner of the elections as they are wrongfully expecting. The Supreme Court’s purview doesn’t cover that area. All the Court will do is to interpret the electoral laws and make submissions that will not reverse the NPP’s fate. I will stick my neck out on this score to say that the NPP is pushing its luck too far and should be prepared for a more devastating blow. Its leaders may be proud that they have lawyers in their fold to fight their battle or that they have allies in the Judiciary to count on; but I will tell them straight to their faces that the matter at stake has already been determined by the appropriate constitutionally mandated body responsible for electoral affairs in the country. What they are raising is just for the records.

Definitely, the Supreme Court will interpret the law but not determine winners of the elections or order that Akufo-Addo be installed in office. I don’t think that the NPP has any justification to be optimistic of victory or that its Akufo-Addo will become the President. He wasn’t elected by the majority of Ghanaians and will not be allowed to be imposed on anybody. The Supreme Court is not made up of dunces!

For now, the majority of Ghanaians who rejected him have comported themselves, even in the face of extreme provocation by the riotous NPP followers. Indeed, when it comes to the crunch, they will rise up to confront those who lost the elections but are fouling their air with agitations and bedlam.

No one is against the NPP’s decision to pursue this case in court; but Ghanaians know whom they chose to lead them for the next four years. They didn’t have to go to any tedious or contentious length to do so. They simply used their thumbs at the polls without any coercion or inducement. Those who are disputing the verdict of the people and hiding behind legal technicalities to overturn the table won’t have it easy.

Although the law is often described as an “ass,” it is not just sitting there to be grabbed and ridden to paradise by those who don’t deserve its services. Let the court case begin for us to see how the tide will flow.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.