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NPP Set To Retain Akwatia
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A five-member panel of the Supreme Court chaired by Justice William Atugubah has quashed an earlier decision of the High Court in Koforidua ordering the EC to re-run the entire Akwatia Constituency elections.

The Supreme Court has ordered a re-run of polls in six polling stations of the Akwatia constituency which has paved the way for the NPP to retain one of its traditional seats and increase her parliamentary numbers to 108. The Supreme Court noted that the forum by which Mr. Jamal went was right but indicated that he should have filed a petition instead of commencing with a writ of summons.

“That procedure was meant to circumvent the constitution and that should not be allowed,” the Supreme Court in its ruling declared. Members of the panel include Mr. Justice William Atugubah, Mr. Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs. Justice R. S. Owusu, Mr. Justice Jones Victor Dotse and Mr. Justice Paul Baffoe Bonney.The Electoral Commission (EC) could not declare the winner for the Akwatia seat in last year’s parliamentary elections as a result of alleged electoral irregularities leading to the filing of a joint writ by Baba Jamal, NDC candidate and two independent candidates, Messrs Basil Ahiable and Samuel Abrokwah, praying the Koforidua High Court to order the EC to conduct fresh parliamentary elections.

However, the EC wanted to conduct elections in only six of the polling stations located at Akwatia where disruption of the electoral process by some 'macho men' believed to be supporters of the NDC candidate was reported.Mr. Jamal sought to restrain the defendants (EC & NPP) from declaring and gazetting results of the December 2008 in the constituency by filing a writ with the Koforidua High Court. He also sought to restrain the EC from declaring the parliamentary seats pending the determination of the suit.

The Koforidua High Court presided over by Justice Surrebarreh had upheld the application by Mr. Jamal against the EC and the NPP candidate, Dr Kofi Asare in its ruling, and awarded a GH˘500 cost against the NPP candidate who was the second defendant and ordered a fresh re-run of the parliamentary elections in the Akwatia constituency. The affected polling stations are Yoruba Mosque Akwatia A and B, Presby JSS, Lorry Station Akwatia A and B and the AME Zion Church Akwatia A.In a reaction to the ruling by the Supreme Court, Mr. Peter Mac Manu, Chairman of the New Patriotic Party said it will require nothing short of a miracle for the NDC to win the Akwatia parliamentary seat.

Certified results from all polling stations excluding the “contentious six” put the NPP candidate, Dr. Kofi Asare, in the lead with a little over 3000 votes ahead of the NDC candidate, Mr. Baba Jamal. The total number of registered voters in the six polling stations amounts to a little over 4,000. When the re-run is held, all 4,000 plus voters will have to turn out to vote out of which Baba Jamal has to secure over 75% of the vote to have any chance of ensuring victory in the re-run. In the December 7 parliamentary polls, Dr. Kofi Asare had about 60% of certified results from the non-contentious polling stations. The history of elections in those six polling stations in the six polling stations is such that no one candidate can obtain more than 70%. Election watchers predict a turnout of less than 50% giving the history of runoffs and the current economic hardship in the country and the u-turn of the NDC in their electoral promises.
Source: The Statesman

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