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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

OFFICIAL...Supreme Court Allows Live TV And Radio Broadcast Of NPP's Petition

There would be a live television and radio broadcast of the landmark electoral petition, which is beginning hearing of the substantive matter on Tuesday April 16.

According to Peacefm's reliable sources, the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood instructed that the proceedings of the Supreme Court hearing of the Election petition, be telecast live on Ghana Television.

The decision, according to sources, was made some few minutes before 18:00 GMT on Monday.

The National broadcaster, GTV and Radio Ghana would be allowed to survey a set up on Tuesday April 16, 2013.

It is however not clear whether the live broadcast would commence Tuesday on the first day of hearing of the substantive matter, but the subsequent hearing days would be live on television and radio.

It is recalled that the Danquah Institute, prior to the commencement of the case brought by the petitioners, appealed to Chief Justice to allow television cameras to broadcast all proceedings of the law suit.

DI explained that a live televised broadcast of such a historical case, with its far-reaching implications for future elections, would reduce opportunities for some people to put a self-serving spin on the proceedings and decision of the court, with the intention of inciting undue negative reactions from an already divided nation.

“Full transparency,” the Danquah Institute said in a statement released at the time, “will help all Ghanaians accept the ultimate decision of the court. We need to televise this case for the benefit of the people and the growth of our democracy. Ghana needs it. Africa needs it.”

The statement continued, “Every Ghanaian must have the opportunity to see and hear what is happening in the court room in order to help form their own informed view of proceedings. This would reduce opportunities for an aggrieved party to spin the outcome of the case in a way that could negatively heighten tension and incite party supporters to react violently or in similar negative fashion.”

But the Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) cautioned against a live telecast of the impending Court case.

The forum believed granting such a request will expose the Judges that will sit on the case to danger since they can be vilified by parties that are unhappy with their rulings.

The Convener of the FGJ, Dr. Clement Apaak, opined that a live telecast of the court proceedings could be counterproductive for the country.

Meanwhile, hearing of the landmark electoral petition begins at the Supreme Court in Accra Tuesday.

The petitioners are expected to call their first witness/and or witnesses Tuesday, depending on how long the witness/witnesses would testify and how long cross-examination would take and if need be, how long the re-examination lasts.

The case, which promises to be a significant historical event in Ghana’s legal and political culture, has the petitioners urging the court to annul 4,670,504 valid votes and subsequently declare the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the one who won the December 2012 elections.

According to them, Nana Akufo-Addo won the elections by 59.69 per cent while President Mahama polled 39.1 per cent.

They are, therefore, challenging the EC’s declaration of President Mahama as winner of the presidential polls with 50.70 per cent.

However, the EC, which is one of the respondents in the case and the conductor of the polls, is standing by its December 9, 2012 declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the polls with 50.7 per cent while it still holds that Nana Akufo-Addo placed second with 47.7 per cent.
Source: Peacefmonline.com with additional files from Enoch Frimpong & Mabel Aku Banaseh (Graphic.com.gh)

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