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2020 Elections

Supreme Court to hear Mahama’s motion to amend errors in election petition today

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The Supreme Court will this morning hear a motion from National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, John Mahama, seeking to amend some errors in his petition challenging the outcome of the 2020 general elections.

The motion argues that an error was made in the description and positioning of the parties to be served the writ.

It also pointed out that there was a typographical error with one of the reliefs in the writ.

“In the relief numbered (f) on the writ which was repeated in paragraph 35(f) of the petition, there is a typographical error in the third and fourth lines, which refers to 1st Respondent [Electoral Commision] instead of 2nd Respondent [President Akufo-Addo],” the motion said.

The motion is thus asking for a reversal of the position and designation of the said parties and a correction of the typographical errors.

Mr. Mahama and the NDC rejected the 2020 presidential election result describing it as flawed and have refused to recognise Nana Akufo-Addo as President.

He is arguing that neither he nor President Akufo-Addo attained a clear majority because of the omission of the Techiman South constituency from the provisional declaration of results by Ghana’s Electoral Commission.

According to the Electoral Commission President Akufo-Addo garnered 51.59 percent of the votes while Mr. Mahama got 47.37 percent.

He is now asking the Supreme Court to order a re-run of the presidential election for him and the incumbent.

Following changes to election adjudication guidelines, the petition hearing is expected to last for at most 42 days; a massive reduction from the eight-month-long hearing in 2012 when President Akufo-Addo, then in opposition, unsuccessfully challenged his election defeat to Mr. Mahama.

The court is expected to give judgment on Mr. Mahama’s petition by February 10 the final day in the 42-day timeline.

At its first hearing of the petition today, the Supreme Court is expected to hear and rule on a motion by Mr. Mahama’s lawyer for an order to allow the live transmission of the entire proceedings in the election petition.

President Akufo-Addo is proceeding with his transition and has described the election petition as as “incompetent, frivolous and vexatious” in a 12-page response.

His legal team also argued that the claims made by Mr. Mahama “are not supported by the facts pleaded in the Petition”.

The Electoral Commission also filed its preliminary objection to Mr. Mahama in a 10-page response and acknowledged the possibility of errors but said the possible discrepancies would not have any significant effect on the final election results.

It also said Mr. Mahama in his petition erroneously depended on the total number of votes cast to make his case as being the total number of valid votes cast, an error which was inadvertently mentioned by the EC Chairperson during the declaration of the presidential result but was later corrected in a press release.

The commission and President Akufo-Addo, both sued by Mahama, have thus asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition.

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