It was not anticipated. Even though it was known that some presidential candidates would be disqualified, very few would have imagined that Papa Kwesi Ndoum, of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings of National Democratic Party (NDP), Dr Edward Mahama, of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and Hassan Ayariga, of the All Progressive Congress (APC), among others, would have been disqualified.
In all, 12 presidential aspirants were reported to have been disqualified by the EC.
Frankly, many Ghanaians must be as shocked as the Times, about the turn of events as many of the disqualified candidates have portrayed them as credible candidates to the electorate.
Many of them have criss-crossed the country, canvassing for votes and urging Ghanaians to offer them the mandate to lead Ghana.
They have spent huge funds campaigning and selling themselves, but unfortunately were unable to pass the eligibility test.
According to Mrs Charlotte Osei, the EC chairperson, those disqualified failed to meet the necessary requirements that would qualify them to contest the election.
Furthermore, she explained that some of the candidates did not get the qualified people to endorse their forms, while some of the signatories sponsored more than one candidate.
What is shocking also is that, out of the total 17 presidential aspirants who submitted their nomination forms, only four were approved to contest the December 7 general election.
Those who got the nod are Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Congress (CPP), and Jacob Osei Yeboah (JOY), an independent candidate.
As we have said earlier, we are amazed about some of te names that have appeared on the disqualification list because some of them are contesting for the second or third time.
It is, therefore, surprising that they failed to pass the test, at this critical moment to appear on the ballot papers.
But, there is a good side to the unprecedented story. The field has been sanitised. The pretenders have been separated from the serious candidates which would give Ghanaians the opportunity to scrutinise the candidates and vote for the suitable one.
Predictably some of the supporters of the disqualified candidates are seething with anger and swearing at the EC. Others are also accusing the EC of wrongful disqualification.
Whatever it is, we anticipate that many of the disqualified presidential candidates and their disappointed supporters would be going after the EC but we believe that their decision is within the law.
Otherwise the EC’s action could spark a wave of court cases that may affect the smooth conduct of the election.
It is our hope though that we would not get to that point all the disqualified candidates would accept the EC’s decision for the country to conduct a credible, free and fair election.