Disqualified aspirants threaten court action

Dr Edward Mahama.PNC

Dr Edward Mahama.PNC

Some political parties that have been disqualified by the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest the December 7, 2016 general elections have threaten to seek redress in court.

Others, however, are seeking to dialogue with the EC to resolve the matter.

They stated these in separate interviews with the Ghanaian Times yesterday.

Addressing charged party (PPP) supporters, the flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum, asked the EC to give the parties an opportunity to discuss their disqualification from the presidential election amicably or else, they would proceed to court.

He said the issue at hand was not a matter of fraud, but an administrative or clerical matter that could be rectified in a simple manner.

“Based on the evidence I have with me, a five minutes discussion with Mrs. Charlotte Osei will resolve this matter, however, if we cannot solve it administratively, then we will go to court to seek satisfaction so that I can be on the ballot”.

Dr Nduom said, “I am asking the Chairperson of the EC and the returning officer to let me know if by the end of this Thursday we can meet and deal with this matter positively, else, we will pursue the other option we have”, he added.

Dr. Ndoum, asked party faithfuls to exercise patience while urging the PPP parliamentary candidates to focus on their campaigns, and assured them that ‘no one can kill my love for the country’.

The People’s National Congress (PNC) said members of the party have met and reviewed the concerns raised by the commission, and appealed to it for an opportunity to discuss the issue.

A statement issued by the General Secretary, Atik Mohammed, and copied to The Ghanaian Times, said after studying the issues, the executives held the view that the concerns could be remedied.

It said ‘Indeed, we have enough grounding to affect the decision of the EC”, and urged the rank and file of the party to remain calm while they work to get the issues resolved and get the presidential candidate back to the ballot.

The General Secretary of the All People’s Congress (APC) Mr. Razak Kojo Opoku said the party had taken time to look at the reasons given by the EC  and said the party submitted its forms early to the EC before most of the parties, including the one that EC claimed the subscriber endorsed.

He said APC was not convinced with the reasons given by the  EC, and that it would proceed to court for better and further interpretation, or restrain EC from proceeding to the next stage.

Mr. Kwabena Adjei, ‘flag bearer’ for the Reformed Patriotic Democrat Party (RPDP), said the basis for which he was disqualified was not tangible.

According to the RPDP flagbearer, the Commission had not provided the party with the provisional voter register to know those who were qualified and those not, stating, that if that was done the party would have also done thorough check to know those who were qualified and those who were not.

Mr. Adjei said, he together with the other party executives went to the EC yesterday, but could not meet Mrs. Osei, saying “we are not at war with the EC, we wanted explanation and to demand for our banker’s draft otherwise, we would go to court”.

Mr. Alfred Jerome Batner, Communications Director for Mr. Kwame Asiedu Walker, independent presidential aspirant said the party was displeased with the decision of EC saying it was not the best.

Madam Margret Obrina Sarfo, the running mate for the Independent People’s Party (IPP) aspirant said the party did not take kindly to the EC decision, and that IPP was preparing to hold a news conference today, on the matter.

The presidential aspirant of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Akua Donkor on her part accepted her disqualification, and said that she would throw her support to President, John Mahama.

Akwesi Addai Odike,UPP

Akwesi Addai Odike,UPP

Showing no signs of disappointment, she told the Ghanaian Times that she would do everything in her power to get President Mahama re-elected.

Madam Donkor was disqualified for improperly filing her nomination forms, with some indicating that her running mate, Patricia Asante,   was an 18-year-old, and not 40 years as required by the constitution of the Republic.

The United Front Party (UFP) presidential aspirant Akwasi Addai, aka ‘Odike’ had a special case as the EC received an order from the court following a contest by some members of the party to restrain him from parading as the flagbearer of the party.

His fate was in the balance as the EC was yet to take a decision on him, although he was not disqualified, the EC also did not approve his nomination.

Mrs Osei explained that “the Commission had been served with court processes challenging the membership and candidacy of Odike by some members of the United Progressive Party (UPP)”.

“The processes seek to restrain the Electoral Commission from issuing, accepting and registering Mr. Odike to contest the 2016 presidential election as the flagbearer of the UFP.

“The Commission is, therefore, unable to accept Mr. Odike’s nomination forms until the matter in court has been concluded. We hope that Mr. Odike and the UPP would resolve the matter by October 14 after which date the Commission would be unable to process the nomination,” the EC boss said.

Some angry supporters of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) had thronged the party’s headquarters in Asylum Down to protest the disqualification of their flagbearer.

The supporters led by Kumawood actor, Salinko were clad in the red and white colours of the party and chanted various ‘war songs’ to show their anger.

They arrived at the party’s headquarters in Sprinter and Metro Mass buses and claimed they were from various constituencies in the country.

According to the protestors, they had come to the headquarters to display their anger at the Electoral Commission (EC) for disqualifying their flagbearer, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom who they believe is the right person to lead the country.

The businessman cum politician was among the 12 presidential hopefuls disqualified by the EC for failing to meet at least one of the regulations governing the filling and filing of nomination forms.

By Francis Asamoah Tuffour and Abigail Annoh   

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