Posted - 28 Nov 2011 : 10:36:40
THE RESULTS OF THE 2011 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS Are The Opposition Candidates To Sign To Reject Or Accept The Results?
"The 2011 Presidential Elections is now history. The Independent Electoral Commission has declared the results and Yahya A JJ Jammeh, as elected in accordance with the dictates of Section 89 of the Constitution.
According to the Independent Electoral Commission there are 796,929 registered voters. 657,904 cast their votes, 470,550 voted for Yahya AJJ Jammeh, 114,177 voted for Ousainou Darboe, 73,060 voted for Hamat N.K. Bah.
There was no voter apathy. 83 percent of the registered voters did cast their votes. Yahya AJJ Jammeh had 72 percent of the votes. Ousainou Darboe had 17 percent of the votes and Hamat Bah had 11 percent of the votes.
Many people are asking whether there is a legal provision requiring those who contest Presidential Elections to sign and accept or reject elections results.
Foroyaa wishes to make it abundantly clear that while polling agents and counting agents are given the option to sign the reports prepared by presiding and returning officers, respectively, there is no provision in the Elections Act for presidential candidates to sign to accept or reject elections results.
How then are election results rejected?
This is done through election petitions.
Section 98 of the Elections Act reads (1) “A petition complaining of an undue election under the provision of this Decree (hereinafter called an “election petition”)may, within thirty days from the date of the declaration of the result of the election be presented to the Court in its civil jurisdiction by any one or more of the following persons: (a) a person who voted or had a right to vote at the election to which the petition relates;(b) a person who claims to have had a right to be returned or elected at such election, or(c) a person who alleges himself to have been a candidate at such election.”
Lodging Election Petition is a very expensive enterprise. Hence before it is done one must have the facts that would show that the number of votes that would be declared invalid would make the winner to be declared a loser. Unless one is in possession of such facts or evidence, filing election petition would be an exercise in futility.
In short subsections (2) and (3) of section 98 add that, “At the time of the presentation of the petition, or within three days afterwards, the petitioner shall give security for the payment of all cost, charges and expenses that may become payable by him to any witness summoned on his behalf or to any respondent.”
“(3) The security shall be such amount and shall be given in such manner as the Court may order, and in the event of failure to comply with such order no further proceedings shall be had on the petition.”
Section 100(1) indicates that “Every election petition shall be tried by the Chief Justice in open Court.’’
The task of the court is as follows:
“(2) During the trial of an election petition the Court may order (a) the production and inspection of any rejected ballot token, of any voting card or counterfoil; (b) the inspection of any counted ballot token; or c) the opening of any sealed packet of used ballot tokens.”
It is for the petitioner to prove that a given vote should be declared invalid and was given to the winner.
Subsection (10) empowers the Chief Justice thus: “At the conclusion of the trial, the Court shall determine whether the person of whose return or election complaint is made or any other and what person, was duly returned or elected, or whether the election was void, and shall certify such determination to the Commission.”
“(11) Upon a certificate being given under subsection (10) by the Chief Justice, (a) the determination shall be final ands no appeal shall lie there from; and (b) the election shall be confirmed, or a new election held, as the case may require in accordance with such certificate.”
The public should therefore not ask of parties to elections to make declarations that are not backed by evidence. This would be a sign of political immaturity.
Hence all parties to the elections should do their debriefing with their counting and polling agents and then decide whether or not to file elections petitions.
In the absence of Elections Petitions, all the parties are expected to issue statements on the elections so that people would know where they stand on the results." Foroyaa Editorial
RELATED BANTABA TOPIC;
"Know yourselves, know your country, and the world. Then you shall be the architect of your own destiny."Foroyaa
Edited by - kobo on 28 Nov 2011 22:00:04