Allowing candidates to correct errors ‘sensical option’ - Martin Amidu
Former Attorney General, Martin Amidu has waded into the Electoral Commission’s (EC) disqualification of presidential candidates with a call on the Commission to allow all candidates to contest in the general elections.
His comment comes days after an Accra High Court ordered the EC to allow the Flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Papa Kwesi Nduom to correct mistakes on his nomination forms.
Martin Amidu, in a statement indicated that reinstating the 13 disqualified Presidential Candidates is the common sensical option for the commission after it suffered defeat in court on Friday.
Describing the EC Chair Charlotte Osei’s handling of the issues as arrogant, the former AG, in a statement copied to Citi News said she is failing to act as an “impartial arbiter of elections.”
“An examination and analysis of the ruling of the Court in Ex Parte Papa Kwesi Nduom and the reasons given by the Commissioner on 10th October 2016 for disqualifying each of the 13 aspiring presidential candidates as published in detail on Citi FM manifestly shows that they are each underscored by a common reason for each disqualification.The Commissioner disqualified each and every one of them in violation of their right to be afforded the opportunity to make the necessary alteration or amendment to their nomination forms before the Commissioner took the decision to disqualify them under C.I. 94.
“Prudence and common sense therefore requires the Commissioner on the strength of the decision of Ex Parte Papa Kwesi Nduom to see her way clearly to give each of the aspiring presidential candidate the opportunity to alter or amend his nomination forms in accordance with regulation 9(2) of C.I. 94 to enable the processes to the election to proceed without any further delay instead of waiting for each aspiring candidate to secure a separate ruling from the Court.”
Some 13 presidential candidates including Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party, Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention and Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP) were disqualified after the EC noted various errors in the nomination forms they filed.
EC has one more chance to validate nominations
But Amidu believes the Commissioner has “one more chance to make a determination of the validity of each of the nominations again and the aspiring candidates must not be caught with their pants down when she calls upon them to amend their nomination forms in accordance with the Regulations.”
Martin Amidu also reminded aspirants to be ready at the shortest notice by the Commissioner to amend mistakes on their nomination forms.
“The battle to get as many of the disqualified aspiring candidates onto the ballot is far from ended. The aspiring candidates should be advised to have the means of altering or amending their nomination forms ready and by their side to effect the alterations, amendments and corrections at the shortest notice by the Commissioner.”
“Whosoever wins the 2016 Presidential Elections must do so transparently and fairly. We must put Ghana First by equalizing the disadvantages of the political parties in opposition to ensure that they have a fair and even chance against any abuse of incumbency by the Government which is definitely very desperate to remain in power after eight years. Let us watch every step of this Electoral Commissioner in this election year!”