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Minority boycotts deliberations on 2020 EC’s budget.

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The Minority in Ghana’s Parliament staged a walkout Saturday during a special sitting to approve the 2020 budget estimates of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

The minority’s action follows a demand it made on the EC on Friday to furnish Parliament with documents that justify its request for over GH¢1b for the purposes of compiling a new voters’ register for the 2020 elections.

When the EC appeared before Parliament Saturday, at a special sitting called for the purpose of allowing it to meet the minority’s demand and to pave the way for the approval of its budget before parliament rises for the Christmas break, the National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament alleged that the commission had not complied satisfactorily with its request.

According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the EC has not convinced the NDC side of the House on why a new voter register must be compiled.

“We on this side cannot appreciate why the government would have to spend nearly GH¢1b to produce a new register and set aside a register that gave birth to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and all the Members of Parliament.

“Mr Speaker I owe you some level of respect but I am compelled to move out with the minority in protest. We will not support a new voter register,” Iddrisu said as he led the minority to boycott the rest of the deliberations on the EC’s budget.

This, however, was not enough to stop the ongoing debate of the budget of the EC.

Meanwhile, the EC has been justifying the need for a new voter register.

Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr Samuel Tettey, at a press briefing reiterated the need for one when he said “The current register is credible but it has been stretched to a point where you don’t want to take that same risk. We want to have something that is more credible.”

“If you remember, during the exhibition some of you heard that some people were not captured because of the equipment we are using…” he added.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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Politics

NDC ‘Admits’ Losing 2020 Presidential Election

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Barely a day to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the 2020 election petition hearing, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has subtly admitted losing the presidential last year.

It would be recalled that lawyers for the flagbearer of NDC, John Mahama, on December 30, 2020, after series of street protests by supporters of the party, filed a lawsuit, challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In a statement at the time, the NDC indicated that the petition detailed “serious violations of the 1992 Constitution by the Electoral Commission and its Chairperson and Returning Officer for the Presidential Election, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa in the conduct of their constitutional and legal responsibility.”

According to the party, the petition, among other things, sought a declaration from the Supreme Court to the effect that, “the purported declaration of the results of the 2020 Presidential Election on the 9th day of December 2020 is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

But after weeks of legal tussle, the party seemed to have admitted that indeed, its candidate, Mr Mahama lost the election.

Despite calling for a rerun between Mr Mahama and incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo In its Petition, the NDC in a letter dated March 2, 2021, and addressed to the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said it did not obtain required 50.1 percent to win the race.

According to the letter signed by NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, requesting for a refund of its presidential and parliamentary filing fees, the NDC indicated that it obtained 47.397%.

In the letter dated March 2, 2021, the NDC’s Functional Executive Committee (FEC) informed the EC boss that “it is formally requesting for a refund of deposits it made in respect of its presidential and parliamentary candidates.”

The party cited Regulations 46 (1) and 46 (3) of C.I. 127 to back its demand.

According to NDC, Regulations 46 (1) and 46 (3) of C.I. 127 “spell out the conditions for a refund or forfeiture of deposits made by presidential or parliamentary candidates.

It noted that regulations spell out that “a presidential or parliamentary candidate must obtain a minimum of 25% and 12.5% respectively in a general election to qualify for a refund.”

Credit: Dailyguidenetwork.com

 

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Dismiss Mahama’s strange election petition – EC tell Supreme Court

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The Electoral Commission (EC), 1st Respondent in the ongoing Election Petition at Ghana’s Supreme Court, says the petition is a strange one with the Petitioner not having evidence to challenge the December 7, 2020, election result which was declared on December 9, 2020.

“It is unfortunate that an innocuous error made by the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent in the declaration of the results on December 9, 2020, which had no bearing on the outcome of the election results has triggered this Petition,” parts of the 66-page written address by counsel for the EC said.

“As part of the 1st Respondent’s efforts to strengthen its electoral processes and build a further layer of accountability and scrutiny in its work, the 1st Respondent in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Department and subsidiary legislation committee of the Parliament of Ghana developed a Constitutional Instrument (CI 127) to govern the conduct of elections.”

The EC’s counsel insisted, “CI 127 introduced the Regional Collation Centres which provide an avenue for the involvement and participation of Candidates’ Agents in the collation of the Presidential Election Results at the Regional Collation Centres. This is a departure from the past where 275 constituency collation results were faxed directly to the Returning Officer at the National Collation Centre. Today the Returning Officer receives at the NCC [National Collation Centre aka Strong Room] only 16 Regional Results comprising all the constituencies in each Region. This is a major improvement and tidier and more efficient results collation process.”

John Dramani Mahama, the Petitioner and flagbearer for the NDC in the December 7 elections is praying the Supreme Court of Ghana to annul the results of the presidential election declared by the Chairperson of the 1st Respondent on December 9, 2020.

He argues that figures from the 1st Respondent show clearly that none of the candidates met the constitutional threshold of winning the election with more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes.

But the EC, together with Nana Akufo-Addo who was declared president-elect “prays for a dismissal of the Petition”.

The Supreme Court has set March 4, 2021, to deliver judgement.

 

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Legally, Mahama’s petition was not handled well – Lawyer

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Private legal practitioner, Lawyer Obiri Boahen has said the petitioner has failed to prosecute his case well before the seven-member panel hearing the 2020 election petition.

Although he failed to attribute the problem to a single lawyer, he noted that the lawyers failed the petitioner in presenting a valid case before the court.

Lawyer Boahen further noted that the witnesses in the case did not also help the petitioner in convincing the court.

He explained that the EC Chair, Jean Mensa could be dragged before the Parliament of Ghana to answer questions on the conduct of the 2020 polls.

He said if the petitioner wants the EC to account for her work, Parliament could take that charge and interrogate the matter.

“Lawyers of Mahama failed to prosecute the case well. That is the truth everyone is failing to speak. People are afraid to tell Mahama the truth. His lawyers failed to prosecute the case well. Legally speaking, the case was not well handled.”

He said the former President should blame his lawyers for the poor work done on his case.

According to him, his position is grounded in law and not politically motivated.

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

 

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