General News of 2014-08-29

NDC Supreme Court rally stopped

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called off its planned street rally to celebrate the favourable verdict given it by the Supreme Court exactly one year ago, DAILY GUIDE can confirm.

The General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who would have presided over such an event, yesterday stated on Peace Fm that he had no idea about such plans, and if there were such plans, he was not part of it, citing a possible “miscommunication.”

According to him, it would have been insensitive for the NDC to carry through its planned celebration, given the challenges plaguing the country, including the devastating cholera outbreak and the menacing threat of a possible Ebola outbreak.

He said assembling multitudes in the midst of the health hazard is not in the interest of the party.

Already, the NDC has been running radio jingles about its planned mega rally at Mantse Agbona in Accra, to celebrate its victory after an unprecedented presidential election petition filed against then caretaker President John Dramani Mahama, the NDC and the Electoral Commission (EC) by three prominent people of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) had gone in Mahama’s favour.

Asiedu Nketia, popularly called General Mosquito, said he would have nothing to do with the rally if the people behind it went against his wise counsel, saying that he was at his village at Seikwa preparing to bury his mother.

He also said the chairman of the party, Kwabena Adjei, was in the northern part of the country, possibly campaigning for re-election in the NDC October conference.

The Supreme Court verdict created a lot of anxiety in the country as majority of Ghanaians saw it (verdict) as having been tilted by the court. They wondered why the Electoral Commission was charged by the Supreme Court to undertake some electoral reforms, if indeed the EC did conduct the 2012 presidential election without blemish.

Exactly a year after the verdict – August 29 – there seems to be confusion as several civil society groups plan to hit the street to protest the EC’s reluctance to carry out the electoral reforms.

“The reforms suggested by some of the Supreme Court Judges after the eight-month petition hearing to be implemented to help make Ghana elections credible, have been blatantly ignored by the EC,” a UK-based group, Concerned Ghanaians Against Electoral Fraud (COGEF-UK), has noted in a statement.

The group plans to hit principal streets in the UK on the first anniversary of the Supreme Court verdict.

Political parties have long submitted proposals for reforms to the EC, but according to Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the NPP Member of Parliament for Manhyia South in the Ashanti Region, the EC had not shown any commitment to considering those proposals.

On the first-year anniversary of the verdict, policy think-tank IMANI Ghana, has scheduled a public forum to mount pressure on the EC to implement the reforms suggested by the various stakeholders.

“ Last year, Ghana proved to the world that the practice of electoral democracy is rooted in our politics when after the most contentious election in its recent history, the losing party took the unprecedented step of seeking legal redress from the Supreme Court,” Franklin Cudjoe, Executive Director of IMANI Ghana, stated in a release.

“From February to August 2013, the country witnessed an exhaustive and tensed legal contest that culminated in a marginal verdict for the incumbent on 29 August. However, the Supreme Court conceded that Ghana’s electoral system could benefit from some reforms that will in the future reduce the likelihood of ambiguity and unfairness,” IMANI stated.

The forum will be addressed by Prof Kwasi Prempeh, a renowned expert in constitutional law. He has lectured at the Seton State University, Newark, New Jersey and is also a Visiting Professor for the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

Source: Daily Guide
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