Judicial Pronouncements Has created Major Problem for the Country: Kwame Mfodwo writes

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Kwame Mfodwo

As we wait for the case to come to an end and for the Supreme Court to announce its decision, I set out below what the Supreme Court has said so far.   My view is that these judicial pronouncements either during the case itself, or as formal decisions, have systematically created a major problem for the country.  

Unintentional I am sure, but a problem nevertheless.   The questions which I believe arise, and which I answer pessimistically are:

Will this new and unaccountable colossus of an Electoral Commission enhance public confidence in the Electoral Commission?.   No.
Will it now empower the Electoral Commission to rig elections in Ghana with impunity?.  Most probably as their immunity is now virtually absolute.
Is this good for the future peace and stability of the country?  I think not. 

Hopefully, in its final decision, which will come out over the next few weeks, the Supreme Court will limit the statements it has made (as to what is the electoral law in Ghana) to this specific case and this specific case alone.   That will ensure that lasting damage is not done to the electoral system and the electoral laws of Ghana and that people will feel that they can turn to the Supreme Court if they have a problem with an election. 

The way we are going, election disputes will in the future be settled in the streets, with stones, machetes and probably machine guns. 

Damage done so far to the electoral system – the score-card

As per formal judgements and statements made in open court, the score-card is as follows:

That in any election petition the EC’s personal name cannot be mentioned
That the EC cannot be served with interrogatories
 That the EC cannot be asked to testify  
That cross examination of anyone from the EC is forbidden
That an EC statement that is not sworn in court cannot be regarded as evidence
That the  burden of proof is completely and absolutely on a petitioner and such petitioner is solely responsible for proving any and all matters relating to the election
That election related data is the private property of the EC, an institution which is supposed to be accountable to the citizenry under the Constitution
In effect, the pronouncements of the SC amount to a situation where it is only the EC itself that can bring a case of election fraud against a political party, citizen or an office. No one can bring a case of electoral fraud against the EC.   

How about electoral data and information?  Can anyone have access to EC information to compare that information to theirs?

The current law now is that elections data held by the EC cannot be asked for by a petitioner – we are referring here to amongst others, the following figures which may be essential to assessing fraud, and which the petitioner may want to compare with information that he or she has, namely: 

·         the exact number of registered voters (in each constituency and region);

·         the exact number of voters at each polling station, constituency or  region;

·         the percentage of registered voters who actually casted votes at each polling station, constituency and in each region,

·         the number of registered voters who did not go to vote,

·         the exact number of essential workers who voted in voting exercises reserved for essential workers,

·         the exact number of registered essential workers who failed to vote

·         the total number of votes cast in the presidential race

Clearly, this is not a good place for Ghana to be. 

Thank you 
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