Mosquito causes confusion at EC
In what had been expected to be a calm process of filing nomination on behalf of his party’s presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, the General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, rather created a show at the headquarters of the Electoral Commission (EC).
Mr Asiedu Nketia, popularly known as General Mosquito, as usual, got the attention of the media with the issues he raised when he had the opportunity to address the Commission, which had its Chairperson, Jean Mensa, and her Deputy, Dr Bossman Asare, and others present.
Though General Mosquito, who was accompanied by Peter Boamah Otukonor, his Deputy, was seated directly opposite the commissioners, with his back facing the media, but rather chose to turn his back to the Commissioners and spoke facing the media.
Ordinarily, because he had gone to the EC office to meet the Returning Officer for the 2020 presidential election, it was not expected that he would turn his back on the Chairperson when addressing the Commissioners.
Sounding worried, if not disappointed or angry, the General Secretary of the NDC, who had tied a red cloth on his hand, had failed to meet an earlier arranged time of 11:00am, and was late for about three hours, for which he blamed the Commission.
According to him, because of errors with the registration exercise, they had to waste time, since people who endorsed the nomination forms with their voter ID numbers, later informed them that the EC had called them to bring their cards for replacement, because of some anomalies.
This, he said, had been the NDC’s position that the filing should have been done when the final register was ready.
“The laws of the Commission indicated that an old register does not become extinct until a new one is finalised and certified.
“Currently, we have a situation where we have been called to file nominations; where there is a big doubt as to which register will be the base document for the election.
“This register is called a provisional register because it has not been certified. We are going along because we do not want to create a problem for this country,” he posited.
He continued: “The Electoral Commission has presented a form to us to be submitted and an oath to be sworn based on a law that does not exist. They have said on the forms that we should swear that the candidates have filed their assets according to PNDC law 280, which has been repealed since 1998,” he lamented.
He further argued that “the law guiding the filing of nomination and declaration of assets today is Act 558 1998. How can a competent Commission be calling us to be swearing oaths based on laws that do not exist? The EC doesn’t even know that the law doesn’t exist.
“So, we want to put on record that we are filing this nomination because they say so. And we will not boycott the elections, no matter what system they put in place. We will still participate in the election and win, and they will be compelled to declare us winners, because the people of Ghana want us back.”
Meanwhile, Dr Bossman Asare, in responding to the issues raised, established that the General Secretary had sought to address the Commission, but “actually you had a message for the media.”
Further, he quoted the relevant portion of the Constitutional Instrument (CI 127) guiding the conduct of this year’s polls, which defined who a voter was.
He said: “We also want to state for the record that the CI 127 is very clear. When you go to regulation 50, a registered voter means a person whose name appears on the provisional voter’s register.”
On the swearing of oath against a law which had been repealed, Dr Bossman Asare again stated that the necessary corrections were made on the form about ten days before the date to file the nomination forms.
“Regarding your second point, all the errors that were identified on the form were corrected. We made the changes about ten days ago. And, as you raised the point, we, as a Commission, we strongly believe, and we are convinced, that the democracy is working well,” he said, and thanked the NDC for coming.