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General News Mon, 31 Oct 2016

Setback for Nduom; EC runs to Supreme Court

It seems the woes of flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, is far from over following the Electoral Commission’s decision to appeal the High Court ruling that quashed his disqualification from the December 7 presidential polls.

A statement signed by the Head of Commissions at the EC, Kofi Dzakpasu, said the commission has filed an application for review of the ruling at the Supreme Court to seek clarity on the matter.

The statement said its decision to disqualify the aspirant, is in the interest of public policy and credibility of the electoral process.

“In the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, the Commission has today [Monday, October 31, 2016] filed an application at the Supreme Court to quash the High Court decision and seek clarity on the relevant aspects of the law on candidate nominations,” a statement signed by Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, Head of Communication at the EC said.

The commission said it believes in the overall national interest and on the grounds of public policy that the Supreme Court provides clarity on the matter.

“A judgment from the Apex Court would effectively bring finality to the issue once and for all.”

Background

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An Accra High Court last Friday ruled in favour of the flagbearer of the PPP, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, who was challenging his disqualification from the 2016 presidential race by the Electoral Commission.

The EC rejected Dr. Nduom’s nomination claiming the number of subscribers to his forms did not meet the requirements of Regulation 7 (2) (b) of CI 94 [the law regulating the conduct of the 2016 elections].

The commission said one of his subscribers endorsed the form with different signatures in both portions of the nomination form, raising questions as to the legitimacy of one or both signatures.

But lawyers of the PPP argued that the EC did not give them the opportunity to correct the errors on the nomination forms.

They further prayed the court to stop the EC from going ahead with balloting of presidential candidates until the case was decided.

The court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, ordered the commission to give the PPP the chance to correct the anomalies on the nomination forms of its flagbearer, and subsequently decide whether to accept him inn the race or not.

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Below is the EC’s full statment

REVIEW OF HIGH COURT DECISION

The Electoral Commission has completed a review of the judgment of the High Court, Accra dated 28th October, 2016 in the case of the Republic v Mrs.

Charlotte Osei & Electoral Commission; Ex parte Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, numbered GT1401/2016. Having carefully studied the contents of the judgment, we respectfully disagree with the High Court judge’s decision on several essential legal and public policy grounds.

The Commission is of the firm conviction backed by the law, that candidates seeking the highest office of the land, must take full responsibility for ensuring that their nomination forms meet the standard in form and substance, required by the law.

The Commission is further of the view that falsified signatures on nomination forms constitute a matter for criminal investigation and are not mere anomalies or clerical errors, which should be pointed out to candidates for corrections to be effected.

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The Commission believes that, as in other jurisdictions, presidential candidates must ensure the accuracy of the information on documents which they present under oath to public institutions. Failure to place this burden on the shoulders of the candidates, has serious implications for our democratic growth and electoral justice.

In the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, the Commission has today filed an application at the Supreme Court to quash the High Court decision and seek clarity on the relevant aspects of the law on candidate nominations.

We believe it is in the overall national interest and on the grounds of public policy that the Supreme Court provides clarity on this matter. A judgment from the Apex Court would effectively bring finality to the issue once and for all.

In the interest of national peace and cohesion, we respectfully implore the Highest Court of the land to determine our application expeditiously in accordance with the earlier directive of Her Ladyship the Chief Justice and for the sake of the electoral calendar.

Thank you.

Signed:

Eric Kofi Dzakpasu

Head of Communications

Source: citifmonline.com
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