Time for the "Error President" to Leave

Thu, 29 Aug 2013 Source: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

....the Flagstaff House!

Although many Ghanaians see the forthcoming verdict by the Supreme Court as very delicate, I am of the opinion that it is the easiest of all judicial decisions. I am saying this because of the parameters set out by the 9 Supreme Court Judges before the commencement of the court proceedings. According to the Judges, they would be looking at any irregularities and their impact on the 2012 presidential elections. This is as simple as ABC.

Therefore, for all the three respondents to have admitted that irregularities did occur, I see no basis for them to argue that the same elections were conducted in a free, fair, and transparent atmosphere. How could an election be described as credible, when the conductor has admitted to occurrence of several irregularities?

In fact, when Lawyers Tony Lithur, Quashie-Idun, and Tatsu Tsikata argued that, it would be wrong for the petitioners to request for the annulment of over 4 (four) million votes, because it would be an infringement on the voters' political rights, I realised the die was cast for them. To lawyer Lithur, the voters woke up early to register, queued in the scorching sun, and voted to choose their leader. Their votes are therefore "sacred" and as a result, nobody has the right to annul them.

I would have forgiven these lawyers, if they and their supporters were ignorant about Ghana's electoral system. Nonetheless, it is said that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. It is a fact that these lawyers Lithur, Quashie-Idun, and Tsikata have been in Ghana for so many years. It is also a fact that they are aware of the number of rejected ballots during periodic elections. Again, they are aware of the cancellation of certain votes by the Electoral Commission in many polling stations.

For instance, in the 1992 presidential elections, 149,813 votes out of a total vote of 4,127,876 ballots cast were rejected. This represented 3.6% of the votes cast. In 1996 out of 7,256, 882 votes cast, 11,108 were rejected representing 0.15%. In the year 2000, out of 6,620,232 votes cast, 119,362 were rejected, representing 1.8%. In 2004, out of the total of 8,813,908 votes cast, 188,123 votes were rejected, representing 2.1% of votes cast. In 2008, statistics provided showed that there were 205,438 rejected ballots out of the 8,671,272 votes cast. This represents 2.4 per cent of the total votes cast in the first round. In the 2012 presidential elections, figures published by the Electoral Commission indicate that a total of 251,720 ballots cast were rejected outright, out of 11,246,982 votes put into the ballot boxes.

Thus, out of 46,727,052 (forty-six million, seven hundred and twenty-seven thousand, and fifty-two) ballots cast between 1992 and 2012 in the presidential elections, 925,564 (nine hundred and twenty-five thousand, five hundred and sixty-four) had been declared invalid. These ballots were rejected just because sometimes voters mistakenly touched some ballot papers with inked fingers while folding the ballot papers or putting them into the ballot boxes.

The questions are these:

Why hasn't Tony Lithur and his learned friends complained about the EC's actions regarding the pattern of rejected votes since the return to constitutional rule in 1992? Were the rejected votes not cast by Ghanaians who also spent several hours in the queues to exercise their franchise? Why then did the EC annul them, if indeed the EC were to protect every voter's political exercise their franchise? Again, why did the EC cancel some votes in the 2012 elections due to over voting and other malpractices? Would Mr. Lithur say that the EC acted in "good faith" or "bad faith"?

Folks, I'm still finding it difficult to understand the arguments being put forward by the respondents against the annulment of votes, if they were found to be invalid by the court. Is one vote better than the other? Are we in Animal Farm, where some "legs" (votes) are bad, but others good? Even, human beings are sentenced to death in this country when they are caught by the law. How much more the mere annulment of votes, especially when they are found to be invalid? When did Tony Lithur and Co. realise the need to fight for the protection of votes because such people woke up early in the morning and stood in the scorching sun? Several people voted as early as 7 am on the Election Day so where did Tony see the scorching sun?

"Mpanin se, woahooden sa a, na ato wo ne akeka ampa", For the Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. Kwabena Adjei to have hinted of "power sharing"; and for the spokesperson of the respondents, Nana Ato Arthur to have said the verdict could go either way, says it all - Prez Mahama's days are numbered. The hullabaloo about peace is becoming irritating. Ghana is peaceful and it would remain peaceful not only for the current generation, but also for future generations. When the Chairman of the Electoral Commission declared John Mahama winner on December 9, 2012, not a single sympathiser or member of the NPP protested or resorted to violence. The NDC members were the first to laugh believing that they had won the elections "one touch".

Similarly, the Supreme Court of Ghana, another powerful constitutional body is set to declare the same 2012 presidential elections on August 29, 2013. This is the time for those who laughed first to have their fair share of laughing last. It is evident that all the powerful leaders around the world, such as Barack Obama, and David Cameron are expecting some changes in Ghana's presidency. There are no two ways about that. We saw everything on the national television, especially the solid evidence presented by the petitioners. When the total votes of NPP Parliamentarians who unfortunately form the Minority is greater than the NDC Majority by a whopping 121,241 votes, you don't need a rocket scientist to tell you that Election 2012 was not credible.

It is high time the followers of the NDC learnt how to accept defeat and behave accordingly. Going to the EC's office and Supreme Court's premises with deadly weapons and canes as happened in 2008 and 2013 respectively should not be tolerated again. Indeed, we know that the NDC was born out of the PNDC, a coup making political group that caned women in public; it is on record that it is the only party that has the Azorka Boys, Yaw Boateng Gyan's Special Forces, and a Heroes Fund to award violent people. If Ghanaians recall how the supporters of NDC have seized toll booths, market centres, car parks, and have chased M/DCEs from their offices, we do not need Felix Ofosu Kwakye, the arrogant and disrespectful baby with sharp teeth, to tell us the rationale behind the warning of US citizens by that country's ambassador.

As I have always said, the NPP has no motivation to destroy what it has built. We are only seeking power to improve upon the pro-poor policies. We want to turn the "curse" of the oil discovery into a blessing. We want to minimise strike actions and demonstrations among public sector workers, and also lift the ban on teacher recruitment. We, the NPP are already down so we do not need to be afraid or taught about the effects of falling. It's up to those standing and flying to get themselves prepared for the consequences of the imminent fall on Thursday.

Let's all rally behind the National Chief Imam, Sheik Sharabutu, because his clarion call of "Justice before Peace" is very commendable. The Supreme Court of Ghana has no choice than to right the wrong and make Ghanaians happy. They were not referred to as "Justices" of the Supreme Court for nothing, else they would be called "Peace" of the Supreme Court. Until Justice Atuguba changes his title to "Peace" Atuguba, I am of the strongest conviction that justice would be given to Ghanaians on Thursday. Remember, the petitioners went to court to seek justice not peace. Just as votes are declared invalid in elections, Ghanaians too cannot afford to be ruled by an "Error President".

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri

(Free SHS Ambassador) Official blog: (www.katakyie.com) katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk 0202471070 : 0264931361 : 0547851100

"Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success"

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku