Lack of protest by party agents must not invalidate results



Managing editor of the New Crusading newspaper Malik Kweku Baako has suggested the case presented by the petitioners in the 2012 Presidential Election Petition hearing would not the weakened because party agents of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) failed to raise protests after the elections were concluded.

He spoke on Multi TV and Joy FM?s Newsfile which discussed this week?s developments at the Supreme Court.

His statement came in the wake of comments by the General secretary of National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia during cross-examination by counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison.

He said party agents who were stationed at the various polling stations did not raise any protests because everything went on smoothly.

He added these agents were mandated by law to protest against what they believe to be malpractices during the voting process. Their failure to do this should not invalidate results, he argued.

The General Secretary also responded to the famous ?no verification no vote? order made by Dr. Afari Gyan Chairman of the ElectoralbCommission , at a press conference held onNDecember 5th 2012.

General Secretary noted Afari Gyan had no power to make laws during press conferences.

But Kweku Baako has disagreed with the two positions taken by General mosquito as he is affectionately called.

He began by conceding that having well trained agents monitoring the voting process and protesting where necessary could not be underestimated.

The senior journalist then countered ?there is nowhere in the law that says that the absence of a protest necessarily weakens a petitioner?s case or disables the petitioner from proceeding to court?.

He conceded that raising a protest would have added ?evidential value? to the case of the petitioners. But added the ?evidence of irregularities was on the face of the pink sheet?.

The lack of protest was therefore not ?a fatal injury? to the case of the petitioners. He concluded that nonetheless it was up to the Supreme Court to make a determination on the matter.

He also ventured to explain Dr. Afari Gyan?s ? No Verification, No Vote? mantra declared during the press conference in the run-up to the elections.

It was not merely a statement by the Electoral Commissioner, Baako said, but a re-echoing of the law as spelt out by C.I 75.

Nana Ato Dadzie, spokesperson for the NDC legal team used the opportunity to clarify misconceptions to the effect that Mr. Nketia?s had conceded on tape played in court if any body voted without verification it should lead to annulment.

Bawumia has also attributed this claim to Dr. Afari Gyan in his testimony.

Nana Ato Dadzie said Asiedu Nketia had been misunderstood. He said although Asiedu Nketia admitted to ?No verification, no vote? ,? there is no automaticity about the annulment?.

He said claims by Bawumia that even if one person voted without verification, the entire results should be cancelled was ?an outrageous statement?.


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