The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) says that it would not contest in Friday’s voting in the last constituency to determine the outcome of the 2008 presidential election if the Electoral Commission (EC) went ahead to organise it.
NPP communications director Arthur Kennedy said that the party had been trying to get the EC to call off the vote in Tain constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region because “conditions were not good for a free and fair election”.
However, the party said if this failed, it would not contest in the election. The NPP and NDC had been campaigning in the constituency until Thursday afternoon, when NPP pulled out its officials for a meeting. NPP supporters have been left in limbo, saying they are waiting for instructions from their leaders.
Tain has become crucial to the 2008 presidential race because the difference between the two candidates, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP – is so small that voters in Tain, who could not go to the polls during the presidential run-off on 28 December, would determine the winner.
The Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, announced on Tuesday that the results from 229 out of the 230 constituencies gave Prof Mills 4,501,466 votes representing 50.13 per cent of total valid votes cast, while Akufo-Addo garnered 4,478,411 votes representing 49.87 per cent.
Earlier on Thursday, an Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Mr Justice Edward Amoako Asante dealt a big blow to the NPP when it rejected its motion ex-parte to stop the EC Chairman from declaring the result of the presidential race.
The NPP and its national chairman, Mr Peter Mac Manu, filed an ex-parte motion but Mr Justice Asante said the case was so important and of national interest and could destabilise the country that it could not be heard ex-parte, that is without serving the other parties to state their side of the case.
Mr Atta Akyea, counsel for the NPP, now said he had filed another writ to stop the EC from contesting the election at Tain on Friday.