Politics Mon, 29 Jul 2013

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NPP parliamentary candidate to amend petition

The Accra Fast Track High Court on Friday granted leave to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma Central in the 2012 general election to amend his petition filed at the court.

That was after Mr Ayikoi Otoo, counsel for the petitioner, had sought leave from the court to amend the petition.

The court, however, awarded costs of GH¢300 against the petitioner in favour of the respondent.

It, consequently, directed the petitioner, Mr Ebenezer Nii Narh Nartey, to file his amended petition, as well as the pink sheets which he would use as evidence, on Monday, July 29, 2013.

The amendment borders on figures which the petitioner is challenging. Mr Nartey filed the petition to challenge the declaration by the Electoral Commission (EC) of Mr Tetteh Chaie, as victor in the 2012 parliamentary poll.

However, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP says the case lacks merit. Mr Chaie rejected allegations that he rigged the election to win the Ablekuma Central seat.

He noted in an affidavit in opposition that while his contender was adamant, he was training his polling agents to be vigilant, stressing that he collated the results of the election before the EC declared him victor.

The petitioner seeks to annul the parliamentary result, citing various reasons, including over-voting, voting without biometric verification and lack of certification of the results.

He stated in an affidavit in support that there was non-compliance with the constitution, PNDC Law 284, as well as the Public Elections Regulations (C.I. 75).

It said the petitioner was prepared to lead evidence to show that there were over-voting at several polling stations in the constituency where valid and rejected ballots exceeded the number of ballots issued to voters.

According to the affidavit, there was the need for the court to nullify a total of 13,170 votes and deduct same from the 10 parliamentary candidates who contested the election in the constituency.

"The unique code assigned for each polling station was duplicated in some polling stations," it claimed, adding that contrary to C.I. 75, "there was no biometric verification during the voting in several polling stations".

It further claimed that the presiding officers of many polling stations in the constituency failed to certify the results.

Mr Nartey averred in the affidavit that there were widespread instances where the words and figures of votes cast as recorded on the pink sheets did not tally, thus raising doubts as to which results were actually recorded.

The petitioner is, therefore, urging the court to scrutinise the collated figures leading to the declaration of his contender as the winner of the election.

The case has been adjourned to July 31, 2013.

Source: Daily Graphic

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