Electoral Commission Tallies Results Again…Memo Reveals
The media has been awash recently with publications of some supposed officials of the Electoral Commission seeking to temper with Declaration Results Sheets (Pink Sheets) but the EC has vehemently denied any complicity in such acts.
However, an internal Memorandum from Deputy Commissioner of the EC in charge of Operations dated January 9, 2013, gave explicit orders to all Regional Directors to undertake a special exercise and also be on “standby to produce any of the” documents “on demand by the Commission”.
In the Memo, a copy of which is in possession of The New Crusading GUIDE, Mr. Sarfo Kantanka stated that, “Regional Directors are further directed to make sure that Declaration Results Sheets tally with the number of polling stations in their respective regions”.
The Deputy Commissioner re-echoed to the Regional Directors that by “Regulation 43 of C.I 75, all electoral materials are to be retained for at least one (1) year where there is no dispute or in constituencies where there are disputes to be retained until directed by the courts. The Commission entreats all Regional Directors and District Officers not to do anything that flouts this provision”.
He further entreated the recipients of the Memo to “Please treat as urgent”.
The January 9 Memo which had its subject as “PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS-2012-POLLING STATION RESULTS” further directed the Regional Directors “to ensure that all Polling Station Declaration Results forms (EL 21 A and EL 22A, and EL 21 Band EL 22B) and Constituency Declaration Results forms (EL 23A, EL 23B and EL 24A and EL 24B) in the custody of District Electoral Officers are properly secured and kept intact”.
That Memo has raised some eyebrows with some suggesting that it was an attempt by the EC to fidget with figures to support their evidence in court but, the author of the said Memo, Mr. Sarfo Kantanka who confirmed signing it, said “it was done with no sinister motive”.
He told The New Crusading GUIDE yesterday in a telephone interview that, “that action was as a result of the court action by the petitioners and we did not want a situation whereby a District or Regional Director will tell us that the Results Sheets of a Polling Center was short by a certain number. In fact, we wanted them to be fully prepared”.
The Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, are challenging the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) declaration of President John Mahama as winner of the December 7 Presidential poll.
Both President Mahama and the EC are respondents.
The petitioners have requested the Supreme Court to annul 4,670,504 of the valid votes cast during the election at 11,916 polling stations where alleged irregularities took place.
In the amended petition dated January 31, 2013, the petitioners claim that there were 28 locations where voting took place that they claim were in addition to the 26,002 official polling stations created by the EC.
They had initially called for the cancellation of 1,342,845 valid votes cast during the election at 4,709 polling stations due to what they termed “gross and widespread irregularities” recorded during the elections, but are now praying the Supreme Court to pronounce additional 3,327,659 valid votes cast during the elections as invalid.
A total of 10,995,262 votes were declared as valid votes by the EC on December 9, 2012, but per the calculations of the petitioners, only 6,324,504 of those votes are valid.
In their amended petition, the number of polling stations where the petitioners are alleging that irregularities took place increased from 4,709 to 11,916.
The petitioners are accordingly praying the court to annul 3,101,590 votes declared in favour of President Mahama by the EC.
President Mahama was initially declared to have polled 5,574,761 votes, but the new figures from the petitioners have reduced the President’s share of the vote from 50.70 to 39.1 per cent.
According to the petitioners, votes cast for Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), must be reduced from 5,248,898 votes to 3,775,552.
According to the amended petition, Nana Akufo-Addo won the elections by 59.69 per cent.
They are also praying the Supreme Court to annul a total of 95,568 from a total of 171,603 votes declared for six other presidential candidates in the December 7, 2012 elections due to alleged “gross and widespread irregularities” in 11,916 polling stations.
By Gordon Asare-Bediako/New Crusading Guide