The National Democratic Party (NDP) has given the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei a 24 hours ultimatum to rescind her decision on the disqualification of the their flagbearer or face legal action.
In a letter signed by the party’s counsel, Ace Ankomah of Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah law firm, it demanded an immediate reinstatement of the candidature of Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.
The flagbearer of NDP was on Monday disqualified from contesting this year’s presidential election, because the EC said, the number of subscribers on her forms did not meet the requirements of Regulation 7(2) (b) of CI 94.
The EC, said one subscriber, Salifu Abdulai in the Nanumba South Constituency on page 89 of the nominations form was not a validly registered voter and also illegally registered twice.
However, counsel for Mrs. Rawlings, disagreed with the position of the EC stating that the commission did not have any power to proceed in that manner.
It said although Section 27 of the Representation of the People Act, 1992 (PNDCL 284) provided that a person who registered twice might be disqualified from voting, there should have been a conviction for the offence, and then a term of imprisonment imposed before a disqualification could take effect.
The letter added “the flagbearer of the NDP is not aware that the said Salifu Abdulai had been tried and convicted for the offence, and sentenced to any term of imprisonment for it, per Section 27 of the Representation of People Act, 1992 (PNDCL 284)”.
It added that in the exercise of their right to information under Article 21 (1)(f) of the constitution, the EC should have provided them with evidence of conviction and sentence of the said person, or entry in their records of such particulars.
They further stated that Regulation 9 of the Public Elections Regulations, 2016 (CI 94) provided that even where “the particulars of a candidate or the persons subscribing to the nomination are not as required by law, or nomination paper is not subscribed as required by law”, a nomination was not automatically considered as “invalid”.
According to the letter, the regulations demanded that the Commission afforded an affected candidate an opportunity to make amendments and any alterations necessary within the stipulated nomination period.
They avowed that instead of the commission communicating to the affected persons within seven days, as required by their regulations, they waited for 10 days after nominations had closed before issuing a press statement.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme