Blame EC for doing a bad job, not us – Bawumia tells Tsatsu

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday told Lawyer for 3rd Respondents, Tsatsu Tsikata that since it was the Electoral Commission that produced the pink sheets which detail the various irregularities that occurred at various polling stations, they would be the ones who have to stand accused for doing a bad job.

Dr. Bawumia, main witness of the petitioners in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition case seeking to overturn the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the December Presidential Elections, made these comments while answering to questions from the Counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who has been cross examining the witness for the past six days and is set to continue on Thursday.

Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata had suggested during his cross examination that the petitioners had selected some pink sheets which, in his view, showed over voting as a result of what he termed administrative and mathematical errors as part of their case in court.

However, Dr. Bawumia disagreed and pointed out to Counsel that the justification of the irregularities as errors could not hold because one could not exactly state where on the form or in the electoral process other errors occurred and that it was best for everyone to address himself to the evidence on the face of the pink sheets and avoid going into conjectures on what might have happened or what did not happen.

The lead witness for the petitioners who has been in the witness box for a total of 12days further reminded the counsel for the 3rd Respondents that if anything it is the 2nd Respondent, the Electoral Commission, that would stand accused for supervising an election riddled with irregularities or errors as the Counsel termed it and not the petitioners since it was the EC that produced those pink sheets with irregularities evident on its face.

At another point in the hearing, Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata suggested that the annulments the petitioners were seeking in court would hugely disadvantage John Mahama because the petitioners had deliberately selected polling stations where John Mahama won and were seeking to annul them and that there were more polling stations which had similar irregularities which had not been presented by the petitioners.

To this query, Dr. Bawumia explained that that could not be the case because the 11,842 polling stations the petitioners were seeking to annul were in 272 out of the 275 constituencies and thus no conclusion of selectivity could be made.

He also explained that as had been stated earlier, the petitioners had had access to and analyzed only around 24,000 pink sheets out of the 26,002 polling stations across the country and that that was the reason why the petitioners at the pretrial case requested that the Electoral Commission be made to submit all the 26,002 pink sheets.

He noted that it was possible that if the petitioners had gotten access to all 26,002 polling stations, they would have found more irregularities in more polling stations and indicated that it would be good if the NDC could also bring out new cases of such irregularities in case the party wanted to now become co-petitioners.

In all, Counsel Tsatsu Tsikata as has become trademark used a large part of the day to go through various pink sheets which he claimed did not show over voting.

The witness however justified most of such exhibits and showed to the court why such exhibits pointed to over voting in the various polling stations where they emanated from.

Source: NPP Communications Directorate