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2020 Election Petition: 42-day period to end in March – Lawyer

Private Legal Practitioner, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Budu has revealed that the 42 day period allocated for adjudication of the election petition is not ending as soon as most people think.

On his accord, it is not clear if the 42-day period decided on by the Chief Justice in actuality refers to only sitting days or consecutive days from the very first day the petition was filed.

Addressing concerns on the possible extension of the 42-day timeline for settling the election petition he said, “The idea that gives timelines to the disposing of the matter in the Supreme Court should not be our main focus. Whether the court will extend the 42 day period or not, it is their prerogative”. he said in an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show aired on e.TV Ghana and Happy 98.9 FM.

Per new Supreme Court rules enacted by parliament in 2017, Supreme Court (Amendment) (No.2) Rules, 2016 (C.I. 99) it is made clear that presidential election disputes will be determined within 42 days.

Dr. Agyemang-Budu motioned that with the C.I 99 giving the timeline of 42 days which falls in March, it was however not specific on which days qualified as the countdown for the petition’s 42-day hearing period.

“The C.I 99 gives the timeline of 42 days but the 42nd day has been pegged in March and whether it is consecutive days or sitting days, you can’t say. The 42nd day has been pegged in March following when the petition was filed”, he said.

The Supreme Court moved to ensure that it meets the 42-day timeline required for an election petition as stated in its election manual.

The court set January 26, to commence hearing of the petition filed by 2020 NDC Presidential Candidate, John Dramani Mahama.

Ex-President Mahama is in court seeking to set aside the 2020 election results that went in favour of the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo.

Background

The National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama has petitioned the Supreme Court to order a second round of the December 7, election.

According to the former President, the votes obtained by New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, President Nana Akufo-Addo and himself in the December 7, election as declared by the EC Chair were not enough to be declared the winner.

In his petition to the Supreme Court Wednesday, Mr. Mahama said, “The claim that percentage of votes obtained by the 2nd Respondent [Nana Akufo-Addo] was 51.595% [6,730,413] of the total valid votes that she distinctly stated to have been 13,434,574 was a manifest error, as votes cast for 2nd Respondent would amount to 50.098% and not the 51.595% erroneously declared.”

He said the 1st Respondent in her December 9 declaration said the NDC candidate obtained 6,214,889 being 47.366% of the valid votes.
“From the total votes cast of 13,434,574, petitioner’s percentages would reduce to 46.260% and not the 47.366% erroneously declared.

“The percentage attribute to all but one of the other candidates by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa were all incorrect,” he said.

The former President argued that if all the valid votes for all the candidates who contested the election are put together, it would total “13,121,111, a figure that is completely missing from the purported declaration by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa on December 9, and the purported rectification on December 10.”

Mr Mahama said the percentage of all the valid votes for the 12 contesting candidates “would yield a total of 100.03%.”

This he said is a “mathematical and statistical impossibility, a further proof of the wrongfulness and unconstitutionality of the purported declaration.”

 

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