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Protecting The Ballot Box
 
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25-Sep-2013  
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Thank God a fantastic array of learned gentlemen would on Wednesday, September 25 dissect the recent Supreme Court verdict on the election petition hearing in a manner which would doubtlessly enhance democracy and protect the integrity of the Judiciary.

The academic discourse would enable many confused Ghanaians to know factors that informed the verdict and whether really the decision conforms to the spirit of the constitutionally supported electoral laws.

The Nana Akufo-Addo vs John Mahama case and the verdict which emanated from the hearing is one of the most interesting political cases to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court. It is not surprising that it is juxtaposed alongside the Re-Akoto case in terms of quality.

Hearing the varied comments about the verdict we shudder at the unison in the opinion that the 2016 would be mired in confusion and chaos, something which the country should be spared.

The opinion is borne out of the “irrelevance of the law regarding the last elections” remark by one of the judges in the case, among other ambiguous legal arguments which went into the verdict by a segment of the justices.

The chasm between the conclusions of some of the judges and their colleagues makes interesting reading and analysis.

The legal experts, we believe, would untangle the Gordian knot created by the verdict.

For most political players, the Supreme Court verdict and the line of arguments, crash landing et al, did not help in straightening the rough edges as they jut out in the country’s future electoral arrangements.

The abrasive description of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) by one of the judges as a man whose integrity has evaporated into thin air and the continuous occupation of the gentleman is not only worrying but makes mockery of the system.

Although the petitioners accepted the verdict as they promised to do earlier, they nonetheless disagreed with it, a position shared by many legal experts.

Being a legal novelty in the country’s history we appreciated the challenges of the judges but the difficulties were simplified by the clarity of the Constitutional Instruments and infractions, which invalidate elections.

Coupled with this was the unambiguous admission of the Chief Returning Officer, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan about the breaches as contained in the electoral laws.

This notwithstanding, the petitioners’ case was dismissed after a less than five minute reading of the ruling by the Presiding Judge, another segment of the case that stunned millions of Ghanaians.

One leading female politician reportedly asked lawyers to explain to the many perplexed Ghanaians what it all meant for future elections.

Nothing can explain better the soundness or otherwise of the verdict than such an academic exercise as we are scheduled to be treated to on Wednesday at the National Theatre barring mischief from the political establishment.

The legal experts would be able to either sneer at the verdict justifiably or shower plaudits on those behind it.
 
 
 
Source: Editorial/Daily Guide
 
 

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