A justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo has said that the courts in any election petition are interested in the results of the voters and whether it was a reflection of the rules of engagement of the process.
The Supreme Court justice who was one of the panel members on the just-ended election petition told a high-level post-election review workshop organized by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), an election will be annulled upon the occurrence of infractions that actually affect the votes or the citizens, cast at polling stations and not the incidents of administrative errors committed by those charged with the conduct of the elections.
She has been explaining why the panel ruled on the petition the way it did, encouraging political players to be guided by the expectations of the law on election petitions before they head to the court in future.
“We have stated in the judgment that allegations that relate to the integrity of elections, if proved may impact the validity of the election and therefore we found enough reason to dismiss the preliminary objection and that there was a reasonable cause of action before us,” she said.
The court held a similar position in its final verdict on the case.
Justice Torkornoo further said the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to correct anomalies in the declaration of the 2020 election results was in accordance with law.
She said this formed one of the basis for the ruling the panel of justices gave on the just-ended election petition.
Her comments follow concerns by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), claiming that there were several errors in the declaration of the poll results which invalidate the entire process and raise integrity questions against the elections management body.
Deputy campaign coordinator of the NDC Alex Segbefia, had told 3news on the sidelines forum that the confusion in the communication of the EC still leaves several doubts in the minds of many on what the exact figures of the elections are till date, arguing more than two corrections were made after the declaration of results
But Ms. Torkornoo told the forum, the law in article 297, section 22 of the interpretations act 2009, act 792, allows a public officer to correct a mistake committed.
“There was a spreadsheet alleging vote padding of 4,693 votes in 26 constituencies and we said we would have expected that the pink sheet for those polling stations would have been exhibited to prove the allegation instead of a spreadsheet.
“The conclusion was that even if one took out these 4,693 votes, it would not impact on the 6million plus votes that the candidate we were dealing with.”
The Presidential Candidate of the NDC in last year’s elections, John Dramani Mahama filed a petition at the apex court challenging the results of the polls as announced by the Chair of the EC, Jean Mensa.
Mr. Mahama asked the court to order a rerun of the elections because, in his view, no candidate polled the number of votes needed to be declared winner of the presidential elections.
However, after nearly three months of hearing the petition, the Supreme Court dismissed the case saying it was without merit.
Source: 3 News