Disqualification of NDP EC faces court action
By Daniel Nonor
The conduct of the December 2012 general presidential and parliamentary elections might suffer a major setback, as legal tussles like that being contemplated by the newly-formed National Democratic Party (NDP), if the EC does not accept the nomination forms of the party.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana, last Thursday rejected the nomination forms for the presidential candidate of the party, former first lady Mrs. Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, thus denying Ghanaians a very rare opportunity of watching from the stands what weight she carries in the country’s political scene, come December 2012.
But, the party would not accept defeat without putting up a fight. The Chairman of the party, Dr Josiah Aryeh, at a news conference last Friday, said the Electoral Commission contravened its own regulations by the manner in which it rejected the NDP forms.
He argued that by the EC’s own directive, it was only those who submitted their nomination forms after the 5:00 p.m. deadline on Thursday, stood the risk of being disqualified.
In furtherance of his argument, he noted that the rules did not say that those who had errors in their forms would be disqualified. “The NDP submitted their forms before the deadline,” he noted.
The Chairman made reference to a similar situation in the last elections when Dr. Edward Mahama of PNC was permitted by the EC to re-submit his forms long after the lapse of the EC’s officially declared deadline.
“If there are mistakes then the NDP should be allowed to correct them, as has been the case with Dr. Edward Mahama,” the party demanded.
Anything short of this demand by the NDP would lead to what was likely to be a long legal tussle between the party and the Electoral Commission, as the party was preparing to place an injunction on the elections until justice was given them.
According to the NDP, the sheer numbers at its maiden congress held in Kumasi a couple of weeks ago was an indication that it had very large following, which made them a middle frontline party, comparable to any other political party in Ghana today, “and this should persuade the EC in the exercise of its discretionary power in regulating the conduct of filing flagbearer nominations with the EC.”
The party has called on the EC to accept the nomination forms duly completed by all other political parties.
By close of nominations last Thursday, only seven political parties registered with the Commission had filed their nominations to contest the December presidential elections.
The UFP, NDC, NPP, PPP, GCPP, PNC and CPP have all been cleared by the EC to contest the December elections.
However, the EC, however, rejected outright the nomination forms of the Ghana Freedom Party, led by Madam Akua Donkor, the Yes Peoples’ Party, and the National Democratic Party.
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