The Electoral Commission (EC) has responded to the election petition by the Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Mahama.
Praying the court to summarily dismiss the petition, the EC’s lawyer, Justin Amenuvor, raised a preliminary legal objection saying the petition is incompetent.
“The 1st Respondent, accordingly, raises a preliminary legal objection to the petition as being incompetent and not, as required by Article 64(1) of the Constitution and Rule 68(1) of the Supreme Court rules 1996 (CI 16), as amended, amounting to a challenge of the validity of the presidential election conducted by the 1st Respondent on 7 December 2020,” the EC’s response read.
Interestingly, President Akufo, who is the 2nd Respondent in the petition had also cited the same Article in the constitution as the basis for asking the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition.
And just like the EC, the President also claims that the petition by Mr. Mahama is incompetent, indicating a common plan of attack.
Former President Mahama petitioned the Supreme Court to annul the 2020 election results as declared by the EC boss, Jean Mensa and direct for a run-off between himself and President Akufo-Addo on account of the fact that the results declared by Jean Mensa, mathematically shows that neither of them got the 50% plus 1 vote required to win the election.
Former President Mahama’s legal team had decided on the strategy to use its own figures against it even after the NDC’s collation had shown that John Mahama had won the election with a little over 50% of the votes.
It had been argued that this was the best strategy because it would put the burden of proof on the EC. However, both the EC and President Akufo-Addo have argued that John Mahama’s petition has failed to indicate the votes that he won.
The EC’s lawyer raised a number of reasons for its call on the apex court to summarily dismiss the petition.
“1st Respondent states that the petition ought to be dismissed also because the Petitioner does not challenge the validity of the election conducted throughout the 38,622 polling stations and the 311 special voting centres in the country, or contest the lawfulness of votes obtained by any of the parties to the election,” the EC’s response read.
“1st Respondent adds that the petitioner has failed to indicate the exact number of votes and percentages that he or the other candidates ought to have obtained in comparison to the number of votes and percentages declared by the 1st Petitioner”.