The refusal of NDC to go to court: The medical prescription of the 2013 petition by the Supreme Court was a bitter one

Supreme Court Lead.jpeg?fit=1024%2C683&ssl=1 Supreme Court

Fri, 18 Dec 2020 Source: Daniel Yiadom Boakye

The court is the summit of all institutions mandated to adjudicate cases including election disputes to ensure peace especially when a candidate is in disagreement with the outcome of the results of an election as announced by the electoral commission.

It is the only hope for the survival and sustainability of our democracy because it brings finality to the very thorny and protracted election disputes which have the propensity to disturb the peaceful political milieu within which democratic institutions flourish.

Therefore impartial adjudication of such disputes or bringing clarity to very thorny issues such as over voting amongst others are not only crucial to upholding justice but also boosting the confidence people must have in the court. Anything short of this spells doom which is inimical to the growth of our fledgling democracy.

To extent that the then electoral commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan supported by the NDC council rigorously attempted to introduce what they described as ' classical definition of over-voting', which was essentially to suggest that the number of ballot papers issued on the voting day must not surpass the number of voters registered of a polling station before over voting could be admitted.

This meant that if 500 people registered in a polling station and 400 people came out to vote when the ballot box is opened and 450 is found in the ballot box, over voting has not occurred unless anything more than 500 votes. This was a convoluted logic many found unfathomable and nebulous but it was being pushed through vehemently by Dr Afari-Gyan.

What makes the above logic fraud and highly irrational is that there may be Jehovah Witness or people who intended to register only to use the card for bank transactions among others. Again, between the time of registration and the voting day, people may fall sick, travel or die which make it impossible for them to vote. Hence, voter turnout is almost impossible to be 100 per cent in most polling stations.

Again, the infamous apophthegm which the 2013 election petition gave birth to, which was that "elections are won at the polling stations" renders going to courts after declaration an otiose venture which no politician will be prepared to waste his time on.

Then again what the above logic means is that if one politician manages to stuff ballot boxes and gunner more votes in the face of an overwhelming evidence, the statement above means nothing can be done about it!

The net effect of the outcome of the 2013 election petition is that it failed to bring clarity to very thorny issues, bolster confidence that after the declaration, a loser could have the result overruled in the face of overwhelming evidence to ensure that justice is served to reflect the sovereign will of the people and the true winner of the election.

Predictably, the NDC will not go to court because the pills or tablets prescribed was a bitter one which no dying patient will be prepared to take even if that is the only medicine to ensure his recovery and bringing him back onto his feet.

A dangerous precedent!

Columnist: Daniel Yiadom Boakye