Don't Fight Rigged Polls In The Court Of Public Opinion

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 Source: Peace FM

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has backed calls for the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) not to rush to court to challenge results of the elections which the party claim was rigged in favour of John Mahama.

He also wants the party to hold their cards close to their chest and not be pushed in putting its cards on the table by publicly publishing its findings which can serve as exhibit in court.

To him, if the party completes the gathering of evidence, it will be best to challenge the electoral results in court instead of presenting their findings before the public.

His comment comes on the heels of speculations that the opposition party intends making public the outcome of its investigations for all Ghanaians to know that indeed the 2012 electoral results were flawed.

The EC, on December 9, declared President John Mahama winner of the December 7 polls. He polled 5,574,761 votes, representing 50.70 per cent of the valid votes cast, to beat his closest challenger, Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP, who obtained 5,248,898 votes, representing 47.74 per cent.

Since the declaration of the results, the NPP has insisted that the polls were rigged in favour of the incumbent. According to the main opposition party, per their findings, the results were rigged and have made public their intention to challenge the polls.

Usually after an electoral process, the results of a presidential election are officially declared through a Constitutional Instrument (CI) signed by the EC’s Chairman while the results of parliamentary elections are officially declared by Gazette notification. Until that is done the results cannot be recognized in the court of law.

Speaking in an interview with Peace FM News, the DI Executive-Director said since the party has a 21 day period to challenge the results, the NPP has more time on its hands to gather the incontrovertible evidence.

He was of the firm belief that it will be out of place for them to fight their case in the court of public opinion because that will not guarantee the NPP the intended results.

“I think it will be on Tuesday before we (NPP) can take the issue to court because the results have not yet been gazetted. If the NPP has not taken the issue to court, there will be no need for us to fight the issue in the court of public opinion. Already the party has challenged the results and based on what we have gathered we feel confident but I think we should take our time. They should continue investigating; we shouldn't rush to put things out. The case cannot be won in the court of public opinion but in the law court…” he said.

Mr Asare Otchere-Darko, whose confidence in the competence of the party's legal team seemed a bit elevated, added that he believes eventually the right thing will be done.

"I'm not a member of the legal team and the lawyers may have different views on it. I can't speak for them. I am more involved in analysis and so I know the work is not yet completed but definitely, it will be completed before the 21 days and it will be handed over to the legal team...," he added.

Source: Peace FM
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