Disqualified aspirants have themselves to blame - EC suggests
The Electoral Commission has suggested that parties whose flagbearers have been disqualified from contesting the 2016 elections have themselves to blame and not the Commission.
Director of Communications at the Commission Eric Dzakpasu told Joy News they did what was humanly possible under the law to have all prospective presidential candidates certified to contest but a good number of them failed to take advantage of the opportunity given to them.
As many as 13 candidates have been disqualified from contesting the upcoming elections over possible cases of fraud and negligence.
The most shocking of the casualties are Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People's Party who was seeking a third successive attempt at being a president.
The EC Chair, Charlotte Osei said one person Richard Aseda, endorsed his forms as a representative and voter in the Volta Region and at the same time as a voter in the Central Region.
By law, it is impossible for one person to be said to be representing two electoral areas.
Nduom was not the only casualty. Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings of the NDP may not ever have the opportunity to be a presidential candidate, let alone a president because for the second successive time she has been disqualified from contesting as a presidential candidate.
The IPP's candidate Kofi Apaloo was disqualified because one of his endorsers apparently endorsed for another political party.
So too was APC's Hassan Ayariga, PNC's Edward Mahama, IPP's Kofi Akpaloo and several others including Akua Donkor whose vice presidential candidate apparently did not know her date of birth.
There has been shock waves reverberating across the political landscape with some of the affected parties and candidates swearing fire and brimstone against the EC Chair.
But the EC is pleading innocence and quoting law for its disqualification of the candidates.
Eric Dzakpasu told Joy News the Commission pointed out palpable errors in the forms of the candidates and gave ample opportunities for the disqualified candidates to correct their error riddled forms but a good number of the candidates returned the forms still pregnant with the same errors.
The parties had between 29-30 September 2016 to submit their forms. Almost all the parties met the deadline but failed to meet all the requirements, at least according to the EC.
Dzakpasu said the parties whose errors were pointed out to them were expected to have corrected the mistakes and submitted within the deadline but they failed to correct them.
He mentioned the United Front Party as one of the affected parties whose forms were riddled with errors and yet failed to correct those errors even after they were alerted by the EC.
But the UFP candidate Nana Agyenim Boateng has vehemently denied the claims by the EC's Director of Communications.
He said his party was amongst the first to have submitted the forms on the 29th of September 2016 but was never informed about those errors.
"They did not notify me; it is the first time hearing this mistake." Is this fair. Is this democratic? he asked.
Some of the parties are considering taking legal action against the EC over the matter.