The National Democratic Party (NDP) has through its lawyers given the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) 24 hours to rescind her purported disqualification, and instate the names of the party’s presidential candidate and running mate on the list of candidates for the 2016 Presidential elections.
Lawyers for the former First Lady say the failure of the EC to meet the demands stated above will result in the instituting of legal proceedings against the electoral management body.
Leader of the Party Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings is among twelve-plus-one candidates disqualified by the Commission on various grounds including irregularities and forgery of nomination forms.
It will be the second time the wife of Ghana’s longest serving head of state is being disqualified from standing elections after her forms were rejected in 2012 ahead of that year’s elections.
The forms of NDP’s flagbearer were disqualified by the Commission this time around because one of the subscribers by name Salifu Abdulai, according to Chair Charlotte Osei, had signed as a resident of two districts in the Volta Region and the Central Region.
According to Madam Charlotte Osei, “The Commission is unable to accept Mrs. Rawlings’ nomination because the number of subscribers to her forms did not meet the requirements of Regulation 7 (2) (b) of CI 94. One subscriber on page 89 of her nomination forms is not a validly registered voter, and illegally registered twice and so is on the Exclusion list of multiple voters. Details are Salifu Abdulai District: Nanumba South, Voter ID no: 6617004814 (28.3.2012), Voter ID no: 2126900022 (04.8.2014).”
Ace Ankomah of Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah, the former First Lady said she disagrees with the EC’s reason for her disqualification.
“Our clients disagree with you and state that you have no power to proceed in this manner. This is because although section 27 of the Representation of the People Act, 1992 (PNDCL 284) provides that a person who registers twice may be disqualified from voting, there must have been a conviction for the offence, and then a term of imprisonment imposed before a disqualification can take effect. The relevant parts of section 27 provide specifically as follows:
“A person who… having applied to have that person’s name included in a divisional register, without withdrawing the application, applies to have the name included in another divisional register…commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or both the fine and the imprisonment, and is disqualified for a period of five years from the date of the expiration of the term of imprisonment, from being registered as a voter or voting at an election (Emphasis added),” portions of the letter read