Barring any unforeseen eventualities, lawyers for the petitioners in the election petition challenging the validity of the December 7, 2012 election will tomorrow, July 30, 2013, file their address, as directed by the Supreme Court.
The petitioners, the New Statesman has gathered, are making a strong case to buttress the evidence adduced in court about the constitutional/statutory violations, commissions, irregularities and malpractices that allegedly marred the conduct of the elections, and in that vein tainted some 4.6 million votes which they are seeking to be annulled.
At the same time, the New Statesman is reliably informed that all three respondents, namely John Dramani Mahama, the Electoral Commission and the National Democratic Congress, are also most certain to file their addresses tomorrow.
However, instead of calling on the court to dismiss the evidence of the petitioners, as Counsel Lithur, Tsikata and Quashie Idun had sought to do in court, the New Statesman has gathered that the respondents are now pushing for a re-run of the entire election. According to sources close to their legal teams, they see this as the only way of giving Mr Mahama another chance at the presidency.
With their attempts to scare Ghanaians and the Supreme Court with talks of civil war erupting in Ghana, should the judges rule for the petitioners, having failed, the clarion call of members of the NDC later became the “no money in the coffers” mantra, ostensibly to scare the judges off asking for a re-run of the election.
However, after realising that this mantra of “no money in the coffers” for a re-run of the election could provide the judges with the option of declaring for the petitioners, “considering the overwhelming evidence before them”, the respondents have now sought to push for a re-run of the entire election.
During ‘the battle of evidence’, Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for the NDC, sought to tender in new pink sheets from perceived strongholds of the petitioners, to prove that the irregularities that occurred in the elections were widespread across the country. The New Statesman has learnt that this angle will be pushed forcefully in the addresses of the respondents.
A source close to the legal team of the respondents has hinted the paper that the view of the respondents as captured in their addresses will be to ask the court to annul the results of the December 2012 elections in its entirety since they also have evidence, which they did not tender in court, that the irregularities were widespread.
“To us, this is the only way Mahama can be saved and given another opportunity to fight for the Presidency,” the source added.
When asked why they did not tender in those pink sheets before the commencement of the trial, the source maintained that it would not have been a good defence strategy since the whole country would know that they were buttressing the case of the petitioners.
The source added that since the KPMG count did not diminish the numbers of the petitioners, regarding the number of exhibits filed at the registry, “which was our initial strategy”, their only hope would now be to call for a re-run since the respondents could not dent the evidence produced in court by the petitioners.
The New Statesman is also reliably informed that to assess the strength of President Mahama for what they hope would be a decision for a re-run of the election by the Supreme Court, the NDC has commissioned a series of opinion polls to be done to assess the popularity of the president.
According to sources in the NDC, preliminary results from a poll being conducted nationwide by the Bureau of National Investigations makes for grim reading for the NDC and government.
The results is said to indicate that President Mahama’s popularity rating is now below 30% across the country, with respondents indicating their unhappiness with the tenure of the President and hoping for a change in government.
In addition to the BNI Poll, two other polls have been commissioned by the NDC. One of these polls has been commissioned by pro-Mills faction in the NDC, to assess the popularity of John Mahama for an eventual contest to be made to his candidature as the flagbearer of the NDC.
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