Provided below is the full speech of the 2020 flagbearer of the NDC John Dramani Mahama on his rejections of the electoral commissions declared results on the Presidential and parliamentary elections.
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen;
My Brothers and Sisters;
Allow me to begin by expressing my deepest gratitude to you for your tremendous support—which you expressed overwhelmingly and convincingly at the polls. There is no doubt that Ghanaians from every region of this great nation voted for change—and we did so in both the Presidential and the Parliamentary elections.
I am a staunch believer in the experiment of democracy, the system of governance that allows the ultimate decision-making power to rest in the hands of you, the good people of Ghana. We, the people who, with an eye toward to future we would like for our dear country, elect representatives to go forward and realize that vision.
Government serves at the choice, direction, and pleasure of the people of this great nation. And I have had the honour and privilege to serve my country in all levels of government.
When, in 2016, at the end of my first full term as President I ran for re-election as an incumbent candidate, I respected the will of the people. I conceded, stepped aside, and set in motion a peaceful transfer of power—because I understood that it was the will of the people. And if we are to progress as a nation, if we are to live up to the inheritance of our history, one for which people have paid the ultimate price—that sacred verdict of the people must be respected. It must be protected.
It has been my pledge throughout my time of service as a representative to the good people of Ghana to do exactly that. And that it why I stand before you tonight unwilling to accept the fictionalized results of a flawed election.
My Brothers and Sisters, it is important to remember that the government that is in power controls all of the state resources and oversees all of the state’s institutions. The line he treads between his loyalty to the power that is held by the people, and by his own desire to hold on to power, can be a thin one indeed.
We went into the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections with assurances from the Electoral Commission and the relevant state actors that it would be conducted in an atmosphere free from fear, and that it would be fair, transparent, and credible. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.
What we witnessed across the country from Monday December 7, 2020 exposed a deliberate plan to manipulate and predetermine the results of the election in favour of the incumbent candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, who, as so happens, controls all of the state resources and oversees the state’s institutions.
Despite all of the ruling party’s inducements, use of monetary enticements, and other such schemes on a scale never before seen in this country, the good people of this country understood what was at stake, and it was clear, as the result of the votes that were legally cast that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
No amount of trickery, sleight of hand, or obfuscation will erase that reality. I am extremely proud of our parliamentary candidates who have earned for themselves the title of “giant elephant killers.” We went into the Parliamentary election with a deficit of 63 seats.
We made up for our 2016 losses and we are now set to become the majority in Parliament. This historic feat after one term demonstrates the strength of our great party, and the strength of the mandate given to us by the good people of Ghana to lead.
In respect of the Presidential elections: the facts and figures available to us from pink sheets and other evidence that has unfolded across the country, indicate that numerous steps have been taken to manipulate the results of the election in favour of the incumbent President.
This calls into question the credibility of one of our most important institutional pillars of democracy—the Electoral Commission. It is now obvious to many objective minds that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission has been used to manipulate results from the various constituencies and in that process seek to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghana People.
My Brothers and Sisters, one matter requires special mention. The use of the military in this election is unprecedented. The Armed forces featured heavily as an intimidating measure to reverse election results, and they continue to be used in the same intimidating role to insist on recounts in areas in which the incumbent has lost whilst arm-twisting election officers during these supposed recounts.
We will not accept anything short of a declaration of the legitimate results, which point to an NDC Parliamentary Majority.
My Brothers and Sisters, advisedly, since the inception of the Fourth Republic, final election results have always been declared within 72 hours to allow for a thorough and diligent collation. Surprisingly, this Electoral Commission Chairperson announced, quite suspiciously and for reasons known to her, a hurried 24-hour deadline, which as we all know could not, and would not, be met.
The Chairperson of the EC, in less than 24 hours after her declaration, has admitted that she has made unacceptable errors, which go to the heart of the entire electoral process and cast deep doubt on the credibility of the announced outcome.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana has never brought its credibility to this historic low at such a crucial moment of election result declaration. In fact, the litany of irregularities and blatant attempts at rigging for a candidate is obvious and most embarrassing.
Ghana has come too far in our democracy, in our transparency, and in our well-earned international reputation for free and fair and nonviolent elections, to find ourselves here, where we are with this election.
As has been announced by our party, the National Democratic Congress: We are unable to accept the outcome of the election as declared by the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs. Jean Mensah. Those results are flawed and discredited.
When it comes to the parliamentary elections, the NDC has a working majority of one hundred and forty 140 seats. What has happened since, was a deliberate attempt, targeting five (5) of the 140 seats, to steal and, thus, subvert the people’s verdict. A closer look and detailed examination of the constituency specific facts cast very dark clouds on our democracy.
Allow me to speak in specifics, so our claims are known to all.
In Sefwi Wiawso, the results were declared without the contents of one ballot box being counted. The parties had agreed that an issue of alleged over-voting should be referred to the collation centre to be resolved. The ballot box mysteriously disappeared en route to the collation centre. Nevertheless, results were declared in favour of the NPP Candidate.
In Upper Denkyira West, the EC official deferred the declaration of results because of death threats. The results favour the NDC candidate as has been confirmed earlier today.
In Sene West, a ballot box was snatched, and the culprit apprehended. The seal of the NPP must have dislodged in the ensuing scuffle. That of the NDC and the Electoral Commission were intact. However, NPP would not allow the contents of the ballot box to be counted and added to the lot because it would obviously favour the NDC.
In Techiman South, the NDC won quite clearly, but for whatever unknown reason, the military was invited. In the ensuing scuffle two people were shot and killed by the military. A third person who sustained injuries has now been pronounced dead.
Three Ghanaians who wanted nothing more than for their country to fulfil its promise of democracy have lost their lives—at the hands of the military that is meant to safeguard their rights as citizens. They include Abdallah Ayaric- 18 years and Tajudeen Alhassan- 39 years.
The results have allegedly been strangely declared for the NPP, even though the EC Chair claims to have left Techiman South out of her declaration. After a review of our pink sheets for Techiman South, we can confirm that NDC won the parliamentary seat as follows: NDC—50,417 and NPP—49,825.
In the Eastern Region, the results in the Presidential Elections, which were collated and signed by all the parties were not the same ones that were transmitted from the Region to the Electoral Commission offices in Accra. The padded figures have since been exposed.
The Ashanti Region provides fundamental problems that require further investigation and an electoral audit. Evidence gathered across board shows that the aggregates on the summary sheets of some constituencies do not reflect the individual results on the polling station pink sheets.
You may also recall that prior to December 7, 2020, there were complaints that ballot papers thumb-printed in favour of Candidate Nana Akufo-Addo were found at various locations.
In Bantama for instance, it was noticed that the portion of the pink sheets reserved for recording the number of persons biometrically verified was not filled on a large number of pink sheets. When our agents requested for the biometric machines to confirm the recorded results, they were denied access, with the explanation that they were recorded in a book, access to which was also denied them.
My Brothers and Sisters, these are serious issues, ones that attack the very foundation of our democracy and our rights as citizens of this sovereign nation to elect our representatives, and to have a say in who leads our government.
It may interest you to know that since the inception of the Fourth Republic, agents of the political parties represented in the collation room go through a settled procedure by which a declaration of final results are made. This involves the production of constituency by constituency results, which are then scrutinised by the agents and after their consent, the said results are then announced.
Unfortunately, this time round under this Electoral Commissioner, Jean Mensah, a different system was adopted, one in which bulk regional results were provided without supportive pink sheet data by which agents could validate the accuracy of the result.
Consequently, not a single pink sheet from the constituencies supporting the bulk regional collation was provided. This is in direct violation of Regulations 3 and 44 of the Public Elections Regulations, 2020. (C.I. 127). Little wonder that the Chairperson managed to obtain a cumulative figure of more than 100%.
On account of this, my party is confident that what has happened is a violation of the law, a violation of due process and therefore tantamount to an illegality. It is also a violation of an understanding we hold dear in this country—the understanding that this is not a dictatorship, or a monarchy run by a single family for the benefit of that family. Ghana belongs to the people of Ghana—all of the people of Ghana. We would like to urge the media, civil society and all election observer missions to be resolute and present a fair and accurate account of what has transpired over this period.
We request of the international community to remain engaged in what is happening in Ghana and to take careful note of the current threat that is being waged to our democracy, our freedom, and our way of life.
To all NDC members and those who voted for us, I appeal to you not to be intimidated or cowed to submit to a dishonest process in the face of overwhelming evidence that supports the justness of our cause.
I extend my deep condolences to the families of all who were killed simply because they were determined to protect their votes from those whose thirst for power outweighs their love of country.
Let us all please rise to observe a minute’s silence in their honour.
My Brothers and Sisters, I know dark moments like these can make us question our resolve and confidence in the promise and potential of Ghana and our democracy and institutions. I choose to be a determined optimist based on my personal article of faith formed by long service to my country, including service in the high office of President.
I urge you all to keep your confidence in Ghana and keep betting on our democratic experiment. This is a test of our ability within this democratic system to rise to the occasion and seek redress, to right all wrongs, to seek justice, to make every vote count and to respect the sovereign will of the people. Let us not fail this test.
Let history look back and be proud of how we united and stood up to fight for the people’s fundamental right to freely elect their leaders devoid of crude political manipulation.
It is for this reason that my colleagues and I in the NDC, will not accept what we know to be a fraudulent outcome of these elections. We will take all legitimate steps to reverse this travesty of justice.
Finally, let me assure our teeming supporters and millions of Ghanaians who voted for this change, which has been stolen – the real stolen verdict – that we are beefing up capacity in the constituencies, where the ruling NPP is seeking to overturn our Parliamentary victories already chalked.
We are deploying an additional crack team of lawyers and senior Party officials to support them. Also, in order not to leave any further infractions unaccounted for, the NDC will continue its meticulous audit of all presidential pink sheets to ensure that the verdict of the people is upheld. These steps will surely lead to our next line of actions within the constraints of our democratic governance process.
We want to send a caution to the EC that in line with Regulation 47 of CI 127, they should ensure that election data is preserved for a year, after elections.
Let me assure you, my dear voter, your vote will count.
The voice of the people is the voice of God; so, let’s go forth knowing that God is on our side and if God be for us who can be against us!
Thank you and do have a goodnight.