Nduom angry with EC over ‘selective justice’
The Progressive People’s Party's (PPP) Presidential hopeful for the 2016 polls, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to end the selective enforcement of the electoral laws and regulation and be consistent with their application.
He argued that if the EC was consistent in the application and enforcement of its laws, many political parties including the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would be found wanting.
Giving his stance and that of the PPP on the actions of the EC following the rejection of the nomination forms of 12 presidential aspirants to contest this year’s election, he indicated that the commission’s own nomination forms required each aspirant to make a statutory declaration of their assets to the auditor general.
Dr Nduom, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, therefore, challenged the EC to provide evidence that the NDC, the NPP, the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) presidential candidates have declared their assets.
On the Political Parties Law, Dr Nduom noted that all political parties were required to deliver their audited accounts to the EC by the close of work on May 31, 2016, failing which sanctions would be applied in accordance with the law.
Under the law, the sanctions for failing to meet this requirement is de-registration but the commission, according to Dr Nduom, has failed to apply this law to the letter knowing that the PPP has always satisfied those requirements.
He recalled that as of May 31, 2016, some of the well-endowed political parties including the NDC and the NPP had failed to deliver their audited accounts to the EC but no action was taken against them.
The PPP, he indicated, had always insisted that different standards were used in processing the presidential nomination form by the Electoral Commission (EC).
According to Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, whose nomination forms have been rejected by the commission, “It will be hard not to conclude that the mission of the election management body is to ensure results that will be favourable to only one political party.”
Dr Nduom said another clear different yardstick used in the process was that the EC set a deadline of 12 p.m. on Monday, August 10, 2016 for political parties to pay their filing fees or banker’s draft.
He said one political party was cleared and its nomination form accepted even though that political party missed the deadline for payment.
He also cited the Presidential Aspirant for the United Progressive Party, Mr Akwasi Addai Odike, whom the EC had given a grace period till October 15, 2016, to settle the court case brought against him by members of his own party before a determination is made by the commission on his nomination form.
He also indicated that other political parties had been informed by the EC about errors on their nomination forms and given the opportunity to correct them but that was never the case of the PPP.
All these, according to Dr Nduom, show clearly the different standards used by the Electoral Commission in managing the electoral process leading to the receipt and acceptance of nomination forms.
EC also makes mistakes
Dr Nduom also indicted the EC for failing to properly issue the party with a receipt yet went ahead to disqualify him over ‘administrative errors’.
Dr Nduom, who has signalled his intention (as a last resort) to challenge his disqualification to contest this year’s election in court, pointed out the errors committed by the EC on a receipt given to the PPP for payment of GHC1.7 million as filing fees for the party's 170 parliamentary candidates.
The receipt read GHC1,700 instead of GHC1,700,000.
No human institution is infallible
In Dr Nduom’s view, there is no person or human institution that is infallible and cannot make administrative error as it happened when the EC, in issuing the PPP with a receipt of GHC1,700,000, being payment for the deposit for parliamentary candidates, wrote in figures GHC1,700.
“Will it be right for me to impute fraudulent intentions on the part of the EC in this transaction?” Dr Nduom asked.
What happened to the PPP in filing its nomination was purely an administrative error just like what happened to the EC in issuing the PPP with the wrong receipt.
“There is nothing fraudulent about the mix-up and if only the EC will give us (PPP) a hearing for clarification, the matter could be solved within a moment,” Dr Nduom asserted.
Time is of essence
He, however, disclosed that since time was of essence and he was on a mission, he would not hesitate to go to court to redeem his fundamental human rights.
“Going to court is my last option and I wish that never happens,” he stated.