A member of the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Election Committee, Osei Bonsu Amoah, has blamed the disqualified presidential aspirants and their parties for their respective disqualifications from the December 7 presidential race.
All the disqualified aspirants failed to meet the necessary requirements in filling their forms; and had inconsistencies in the endorsement of their forms by subscribers, with the Electoral Commission (EC) citing forgery and fraud in some of the endorsements.
Among the disqualified aspirants were Hassan Ayariga of the All People’s Congress (APC), the People’s National Convention’s (PNC) Dr. Edward Mahama, the Progressive People’s Party’s (PPP) Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, and 10 others.
In an interview yesterday, Mr. Amoah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akuapem South, said the onus was on the parties to have simply done due diligence on the persons who endorsed their presidential nomination forms because all of them had access to the voter’s register to do the necessary checks.
“Every party by law is required to have access to the register,” he noted, but the caveat here is that the parties had to apply to get the register to make their checks like the NPP did.
In the NPP’s case in the Eastern Region, Mr. Amoah recounted that “we all assembled at one place, two per district, and then you produce your voter’s ID card, and there is somebody behind the computer who is cross-checking to make sure that the voter ID card is what is on the EC the list”.
“We do not just see anybody on the list and say that I need an endorsement, come and endorse it for me. Sometimes we take things for granted.”
Mr. Amoah also indicated that the presidential nominees may have had very little to with the preparation of nomination forms.
“For instance, for presidential candidates, they will not be carrying their forms everywhere. They will give it to us to do the work for them. You do not expect Nana Akufo-Addo to carry his forms across the country. The party people, party officers would have to ensure that it is done. So if there is any lapse somewhere, it can create a problem for all of us.”
On the threats of a legal action against the EC, Mr. Amoah held the view that, the plaintiffs may hit a snag because the EC appears to have acted within the ambit of the law as it clearly spelled out the criteria for the candidates.
“For some of the situations, I doubt even if the courts would be able to give them any remedy. If you don’t qualify under the constitution, you don’t qualify under the constitution.
So if you go and fill a form and the information you give shows that you don’t qualify under the constitution, it will be very difficult for the courts to reverse what the EC has done,” he added.