12 December 2012

Ghana: Accept Election Results

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), on Monday, called on political parties and their supporters to accept the results of the 2012 elections, saying the results accurately reflected the will of Ghanaians.

It also added that the results announced by the Electoral Commission (EC) were consistent with the Coalition's Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) conducted as part of efforts to observe the 2012 elections.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, Justice VCRAC Crabbe, Chairperson of CODEO, explained that the PVT was conducted to help scientifically and independently verify the accuracy of the official result of the presidential election declared by the EC.

"The exercise was also intended to help confirm that the official results of the presidential polls truly reflect the will of the Ghanaian people," he said.

The PVT is said to be an advanced and scientific election observation technique that enables election observers stationed at polling stations to record and transmit, in real time, information about the conduct of the opening of the polls, voting and official vote count processes to a central election observation point, using text messaging.

The technique was said to have been used in Ghana's General Elections in 2008 to promote electoral integrity and help defend the rights of citizens to vote, and to protect such rights when exercised.

According to Justice Crabbe, the Coalition received data from 1,492 observers located in all the 275 constituencies, adding that the information was thoroughly checked for accuracy and internal consistency.

"A total of 635,014 Ghanaians cast their ballots at the 1,492 sampled PVT polling stations," he added.

Justice Crabbe said the PVT's estimated 78.68 per cent voter turnout with a margin of error of 0.58 per cent was close to the official figure of 79.43 per cent.

"The PVT estimate of rejected ballots is 1.65 per cent, with a margin of error of 0.09 per cent, is also quite close to the Electoral Commission's figure of 2.2 per cent," he added.

Justice Crabbe, however, said that because the PVT data was based on a sample of polling stations, the PVT results might not necessarily and perfectly match the official results, but it would fall within a range of values statistically estimated from the PVT data.

"A concern would have been raised if any of the official results were to fall significantly outside the PVT estimated range. Clearly, this is generally not the case for the official results of the 2012 presidential polls," he said.

The Coalition reiterated an earlier call it had made on political parties to take adequate measures to bridge political polarisation that had characterised the 2012 elections campaigns, especially between the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP).

President John Dramani Mahama was on Sunday December 9 declared winner of the 2012 Presidential Election by Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the EC, after a voting exercise that spanned two days.

President Mahama polled 5,574,761, which represented 50.70 per cent of the valid votes cast, whiles his main contender, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the NPP, polled 5,248,898, representing 47.74 per cent.

The percentage turnout was 79.43, while total registered voters were 14,158,890.

Total votes cast were 11,246, 982, and total valid votes 10,995,262.

Total rejected votes were 251, 720.

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