The request for an independent forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election results may not be possible without a court order, the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Civil Forum Initiative (CFI), have said.
They have, therefore, urged Former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who is requesting the audit to go to the Supreme Court to seek redress.
The Executive Director of IDEG, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey and the Chairman of the CFI, Major General Nii Carl Coleman (Rtd) made the call yesterday at a joint press conference on post-election matters.
Former President Mahama on Tuesday said he would concede defeat if an independent audit of the results of polls confirmed that he lost, alleging that the EC subverted the will of the people in favour of President Akufo-Addo.
However, answering a question on the request at the press conference, Dr Akwetey said it might be difficult because EC had asserted its independence in decision making prior to the election.
“Given what transpired before the elections and where we have gotten to, what if the EC does not respond positively or does not take action on that, what do we do?” he queried.
Dr Akwettey recalled that in 2013 when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was dissatisfied with the 2012 election results, it took the Supreme Court to order a forensic audit of the results.
According to him, the court should not be ruled out this time around, despite the skepticism over the delivery of justice because the court was expected to be professional in its work.
Nonetheless, he said if it was possible for the EC to resolve the dispute by itself, quickly and peacefully, it should do, as well as publicly explain the computation errors in the results to bring finality to the dispute and restore public confidence.
For Major General (Rtd) Coleman of the CFI, which consists of more than 24 civil society groups and faith-based organisations, the court was the appropriate place to seek redress of election disputes, and it would not be the first time.
Reading the IDEG-CFI statement, Dr Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, Executive Director of the Ark Foundation and CFI member, said despite calls on the NDC to seek legal redress, it was legal for the party to still hold peaceful demonstration.
She explained that protesting and going to court were not ‘mutually-exclusive’ nor contradictory, but the party should secure police protection and ensure that their demonstrations were not infiltrated by troublemakers who might mar the protest.