Saturday, January 3, 2009



January 2 2009

Ruling party has gone to court to stop electoral team from declaring winner


Ghana’s outgoing President John Kufuor has urged the parties in the country’s election to accept the results when they are finally declared.

In a statement issued four days after elections to elect his successor had come to a stalemate, President Kufuor urged “all the stakeholders to yield to the authority of the Electoral Commissioner when he declares the results.”

The first election on December 7 could not produce a winner with the required more than 50 per cent mark of the results as required by the Constitution.

As a result, a re-run was ordered by the Electoral Commissioner, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan for December 28.

State of emergency

It is a wonder that three days after the presidential elections re-run which could not produce a winner, Ghana is still intact after initial fears that there would be widespread violence across the country.

On December 28, National Security Coordinator Sam Amoo denied that the Government intended to declare a state of emergency.

In a statement released by the National Security Council Secretariat, the agency said that its attention had been drawn to the activities of certain individuals and groups, who were spreading false information to the effect that the Government was to declare a state of emergency.

“The National Security Secretariat wishes to assure all Ghanaians, foreigners and the world at large that the Government has not considered declaring a state of emergency as it is being claimed by the originators of the false information,” the statement said.

Following the Electoral Commission’s decision not to declare a winner, Tain, a small town in the country’s Brong Ahafo region, which is set to determine the overall winner of the country’s presidential election, was in the news earlier last month for the wrong reasons.

On December 11, last year, the District Police Election Patrol Team arrested 15 people in the town for allegedly planning to commit crime on election day, December 7, 2008, at Seikwa, a community within the district.

The following day, unknown arsonists set the Electoral Commission (EC) office in Tain ablaze.

The district shares common boundaries with Wenchi Municipal to the East, Jaman North District to the West, Sunyani Municipal to the South and Berekum Municipal to the South West. It is also bordered by Bole District of the Northern Region to the North East and La Cote d’Ivoire to the North West.

And a day before the people in this small town, some 350 kilometres west of Accra went to the poll yesterday in the final stage of the presidential election to get a successor for Mr John Kufuor, his New Patriotic Party (NPP) was also trying to get the courts to stop the Electoral Commission from declaring a winner.

Tain, a farming community, is one of the 230 constituencies in the country and voters here could not take part in the December 28 presidential run-off because during the distribution of election materials, Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander Seth Charles Oteng told the press, it was detected that about 200 ballot papers were missing.

Some party officials protested that there was no shortage when the materials were brought in from the EC regional office, and that they would not allow the voting to go on until they found the missing ballot papers.

The ruling party’s attempt to stop the announcing of results has received an initial hitch as Justice Amoako Asante of an Accra Fast Track Court refused to give the order.He has asked the chairman of NPP, Peter Mac-Manu, to file a new motion of notice that would require them to serve the Electoral Commission and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as interested parties in the case.

Deserted city

According to Justice Asante’s ruling, the ruling party and its chairman were required to serve the NDC and the EC copies of the process by Friday to enable the respondents file written responses by today in order for the hearing of the case to take place.

As these legal moves go on, there have been reported cases of pockets of violence in some parts of the country.

Last Tuesday, Accra was deserted for hours before the EC chairman, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, announced the results from 229 constituencies which put the opposition’s Prof John Evans Atta Mills in a slight lead over his rival candidate of NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Prof Mills polled 4,501,466 votes, representing 50.13 per cent of the total, and Nana Akufo-Addo received 4,478,411 votes, representing 49.87 per cent.

“The results of the elections are so close that Tain could determine the winner of the election,” Dr Afari-Gyan said.
The constituency has 53,000 registered voters and Prof Mills leads Nana Akufo-Addo with only 23,055 votes.

International media

In the earlier voting on December 7, Prof Mills came out tops in Tain Constituency by 16,211 votes, representing 50.7 per cent of the votes cast, while Nana Akufo-Addo got 14,935 votes, representing 46.8 per cent.

The opposition National Democratic Congress lawyer Tony Lithur, said “the election at Tain would take place today (Friday) but the declaration of the winner in the election would have to wait until the determination of the NPP action in court.”
Meanwhile, the international media and election observers have turned their focus on the town.

“I feel very proud that my constituency is now going to determine who becomes Ghana’s new President,” Mr Aaron Broni, a farmer at Nsakaw, capital of Tain District, said on local television.