Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has taken yet another swipe at former President John Mahama, this time round, on Mr Mahama’s recent “do or die” comment regarding how the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will approach election 2024 at the over 38,000 polling stations in the country.
The defeated presidential candidate of the opposition NDC in the December 2020 general election, John Dramani Mahama, Speaking in a radio interview in Techiman in the Bono Region on Tuesday the 7th of September 2021, said Election 2024 will be “a do-or-die” affair for his party at the polling station.
Mahama said while the NDC has accepted the results of Election 2020 and the legitimacy of President Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s elected leader, they (he and his party) will be extra vigilant in the next general election, especially at the polling station.
“All of us have agreed that President Akufo-Addo is our legitimate leader. He is our recognized leader. We have accepted the Supreme Court’s judgment but the point is, one has to learn lessons in everything that happens. We have learnt our lessons out of the 2020 elections,” Mahama said.
He added: “The election will be won or lost at the polling station, so at the polling station, it will be ‘do or die’. I did not say ‘All die be die’, I said it will be “do or die”, because the right thing must be done” Mahama said in the interview.
However, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia while addressing members of the construction industry on Friday, September 10, at the maiden edition of Ghana Construction Industry Excellence Awards, after congratulating the award winners noted that competing for awards such as the construction industry awards is not a “do or die” affair.
“Finally, let me congratulate the award winners for tonight and I wish those who could not make it a better luck in 2022. You know when you go for these competitions and awards, it is not “do or die”, so we wish you better lack in 2022” Vice President Bawumia said.
Taking an indirect but clear swipe at the former president John Mahama, the Vice President says, it is practically impossible for anyone seeking to challenge the results of an election at the Supreme Court to succeed without presenting real pink sheet evidence to support his or her election petition.
“But serious, if you go to court to challenge an election results and you have no pink sheets, then your case will die” Bawumia said.
“There is no challenge mounted by petitioner about the conduct of the election at the 38,622 polling stations and 311 special voting centres in the country. The Court is invited to hold that no challenge of the conduct of the election is stated from paragraphs 1 through to 30 of petitioner’s petition” the 2nd respondent argued.
Election 2020 Petition
Former President John Mahama after losing the 2020 Presidential elections filed an election petition at the Supreme Court, challenging the election result on grounds that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, made mistakes while she was declaring the results and therefore, no candidate (neither him nor President Akufo-Addo) won the elections.
To this end, Mr Mahama prayed the Supreme Court to nullify the 2020 elections and order a re-run of same between him and President Akufo-Addo. He called a total of three witnesses during the petition hearing at the Supreme Court.
Lawyers for President Akufo-Addo, in their closing address on the election 2020 petition at the Supreme Court, noted that the petition filed by Mr John Dramani Mahama, did not meet the threshold established by law for the invocation of the special jurisdiction of the Apex Court of the land with regard to an election petition.
In their 102-page document to the Supreme Court filed on the 17 February 2021, President Akufo-Addo submitted that after a careful analysis of the petition and the evidence adduced by the three witnesses of the petitioner namely; Johnson Aseidu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and two other leading members of the party, Michael Kpessa Whyte and Joseph Robert Mettle Nunoo, the case before the Supreme Court fails the test to qualify as a petition.
Supreme Court Decision
The Supreme Court in its unanimous judgement on the 4th of March 2021, dismissed the petition of Mr Mahama, noting that the petitioner did not provide and credible evidence that the court can rely on to declare the 2020 general election null and void.
“The petitioner has not produced any evidence to rebut the presumptions created by the publication of CI 135 for which his action has failed. We have, therefore, no reason to order for a rerun. We accordingly dismiss the petition as having no merit,” Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah ruled.
With this unanimous, seven-member decision, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition. The court determined that the petitioner had based his case on an error made by the chair of the Electoral Commission during the declaration of the election result on 9 December 2020, but that the error could not void the will of the people in electing a president.
The Supreme Court also held that the error made by the EC in using total votes cast as the basis for reckoning the total valid votes during the declaration was corrected, and that the correction was made in accordance with the law