GHANA: 50% PLUS-ONE VOTE TO DETERMINE PRESIDENTIAL WINNER HAS NO LEGAL BASIS – DAASEBRE PROF EMERITUS OTI BOATENG

By Jerry Akornor/www.africanakua.com, Ghana

Omahene of New Juabeng Traditional Area and former Government Statistician Daasebre Prof. Emeritus Oti Boating has revealed that the use of “50 percent-plus-one vote” to determine a presidential election winner in Ghana has no legal basis. The statistical literature that simplifies Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana by the renowned statistician anticipated the aftermath of the 2020 polls amid legal tussle over no candidate achieve 50% plus-one-votes cast benchmark.

Ghana’s opposition Leader H.E John Dramani Mahama has filed election at the Supreme Court challenging the December 9, declaration of the outcome of the 2020 presidential polls by the Electoral Commission (EC) Chair Jean Mensa. H.E John Mahama is praying that Ghana’s Apex Court upheld a re-run of the presidential election between him and incumbent Akufo-Addo on grounds that no candidate hits 50% plus-one-votes cast benchmark, a situation Daasebre Prof. Emeritus Oti Boateng anticipated in his cocktail of articles amidst clarifications published on November 3 and 10, 2020.

The Former Chairman of United Nations Statistical Commission Oti Beateng in a 3-page document argued that the long-existing phenomenon where the Electoral Commission of Ghana interprets Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution to mean that a candidate in presidential polls must get fifty percent- plus-one-votes cast to assume the seat of government in Ghana, is not the precise prescription of the law.

According to the former Government Statistician the 3-page document seeks to provide the public with a simplified way of understanding and interpreting Article 63(3) of the Supreme law of the land.

“It is intended to project a clear and precise trajectory of recognising a presidential winner thereby leading to peaceful outcomes”.  

“Furthermore, such transparent understanding is aimed at avoiding the dire consequences inherent in the biblical dictum of my people perishing for lack of knowledge”.

Breaking Article 63(3) of the 1992 Constitution into a simple format, the first Ghanaian to Chair United Nations Statistical Commission, Oti Boateng, said Article 63(3) which is the 1992 constitutional provision for winning a presidential election in Ghana states that “A person shall not be elected as President of Ghana unless at the presidential election the number of votes cast in his favour is more than fifty percent of the total number of valid votes cast at the election”.

Akufo Addo (left) and John Dramani Mahama

This according to the astute statistician means that the winner of a presidential election must get more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast.

It presupposes that “Constitutional mandate of article 63 (3) is strictly to convert all valid votes cast into percentage shares of candidates before ascertaining the presidential winner. Any deviation from this constitutional mandate by the introduction of a spurious number “1” in the percentage space is an abrogation of the constitutional mandate ab initio”, he said. 

Logically, it is reasonable to suggest that the document produced under the scrutiny of a well-vexed hand in statistics by All Nations University Chancellor Oti Boateng should be given oxygen of publicity until Electoral Commission of Ghana, political parties, judiciary acknowledge and realise the anomaly in the interpretation of Article 63(3) to correct future rough edges.

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