The Supreme Court set out five issues for the trial in the 2020 election petition. It is for the petitioner to convince the Court that based on his pleadings and the testimonies of his three witnesses and their cross-examinations, he has been able to prove his case that no one got over 50% of the valid votes cast in the elections.
Therefore, the Court should order a re-run of the elections. Respectfully, as an unlearned member of the public, I’m not convinced the Petitioner has discharged the burden of adducing any evidence to back his case.
Now, let’s address the different figures that the EC published. First, there was only one declaration on December 9, not six declarations as some people claim.
Secondly, all parties accept that the use of the total votes cast as the total valid votes cast in announcing the results was an error. The Petitioner and his witnesses all say so in their Court documents.
Thirdly, the correct valid votes cast for each candidate as at the time the EC Chairperson was making the declaration was stated and the percentages thereof also stated. Those percentages she mentioned in the declaration was NOT of the total votes cast but indeed of the correctly-stated total valid votes cast for all candidates. In stating that of President Akufo-Addo, again she made a mistake by saying 51.595% instead of 51.295%.
Then, she clearly stated that those results excluded that of Techiman South constituency. So, when the results of Techiman South were subsequently added, that gave new figures for valid votes cast.
Next, four constituencies in the Greater Accra region, according to the EC, corrected their results after the declaration, with net effect of 1650 votes. Again, if you adjust those figures for all candidates, it’s clear that also gives you another figure for valid votes cast.
At this point, as far as I am concerned, the EC has given verifiable reasons for the different figures resulting from each of the above situations.
However, in the first press statement that was issued, the statement mentioned that she had in error used a certain figure as valid votes cast in her declaration. Obviously whoever issued that statement did not refer to her declaration which was publicly available on all news portals and available at the EC itself for that person to not have stated a figure that is different from what Madam Jean Mensa wrongly used on 9th December.
For me personally, that figure is the only figure in all of this petition that is still not explained. But realising that that was also an error, the EC duly corrected that Press Release and removed the original version from its website. Making a mistake in a press statement and correcting it, respectfully, should not lead to the conclusions and reliefs being sought by the Petitioner.
So, I’ve taken my time to walk you through how come there are legitimately different valid votes figures published by the EC.
I have voted in all presidential and parliamentary elections from 1992 to 2020. The level of public engagements and transparency demonstrated by the current EC has never happened before under the 4th Republic! You can hate Jean Mensa, but you can’t erase historical facts.
There is time and place for everything and while there is room for improvement by the EC in several aspects of how the 2020 elections were handled, I honestly think some of the criticisms of Jean Mensa are way over-the-board and not borne out of the facts. Whatever the outcome of this petition, and I can only see one outcome, Ghanaians will have an opportunity to hold the EC and its Chairperson to account. I disagree that the most transparent EC we have had under the 4th Republic is running away from accountability.
Rather, as I’ve repeatedly said in various posts, we are presently dealing with an adversarial election petition and therefore don’t expect the EC Chairperson to naively help the case of the Petitioner. Once the election petition is over, Jean Mensa and the EC will open up to the public and answer any questions, even if under oath in a Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry. For now, allow her to fight her corner in this gladiatorial adversarial election petition. I rest my case