By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Folks, the Electoral Commission has stung several of the candidates filing to contest the 2016 Presidential elections. They are:
The thirteen disqualified parties include Hassan Ayariga’s All Progressive Congress (APC), the People’s National Convention (PNC), and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).
The other disqualified parties are the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), the Independent People’s Party (IPP) led by Kofi Akpalu, Democratic People’s Party (DPP), led by Ward Brew, Akua’s Donkor’s Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), and the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD), led by Kwabena Adjei.
Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings’ National Democratic Party (NDP) has also been disqualified for the second time. An Independent Candidate, Alfred Asiedu Kwame Walker, has also been disqualified.
Barring any new development, only four individuals will have their photos printed on the ballot papers on the Election Day.
They are Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party, and Jacob Osei Yeboah, an independent candidate. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Mahama-Nana-Addo-Greenstreet-and-JOY-cleared-for-2016-polls-476278)
Hip... Hip... Hip!! Hurray!!! Resounded three times!! The EC Chair has done a really good job to stamp the EC's authority on the electoral process. Who say man no dey?
I have all along expected this action to ensure that the elections don't bring on board just anybody who thinks that he or she can go round the country, saying or doing anything at all, to attract attention for its own sake.
Hassan Ayariga has gone ballistic, insulting the EC Chair as "stupid, foolish"; but it won't save him. neither will his threat to drag the EC court do so. He can go anywhere with his tantrums. The EC says that the disqualification was effected because the candidates didn't fulfill the requirements of the country's electoral laws. What next?
In previous opinion pieces, I questioned why so many candidates were entering the race and wondered what would become of the elections. Indeed, what the EC has done meets my expectations, and I congratulate it as such. I can picture Nana Konadu, especially, as she chafes; Dr. Nduom as his wags his whiskers; and Dr. E.N. Mahama as he bites his tongue. Hassan Ayariga has gone wild but will soon settle down to re-think his approach to doing politics.
For Nana Konadu particularly, this second axing raises serious questions about her integrity. When the EC under Dr. Afari Gyan cut short her desire to participate in Election 2012, she fumed but let sleeping dogs lie low thereafter. To be bitten by the same bug twice? Not easy to stomach; but she will have no other option but to do so. What next for her?
Dr. Nduom's fate also draws attention to him from several angles. In my opinion piece questioning why he was wasting his time, energy, and resources to contest the elections, I raised doubts about his eligibility. Boy, have I not been proved right?
Dr. Edward Mahama may not easily accept his fate, having ever contested the Presidential elections without so much headache. What did he do right previously but not now to warrant being disqualified? His return to lead the PNC had already forced Hassan Ayariga out of the party to form his APC.
Unfortunately, he is now in the same sinking boat. What a tragedy of sorts!! The only option left for these failed applicants is clear: to fold up their political fronts or collapse them into existing ones of their choice.
As I said some time ago in my opinion pieces, the genuine pro-Nkrumahist mushroom parties will serve Ghana better if they team up with the NDC. Once they have been unable to work with the CPP, nothing prevents them from identifying with the NDC, which is more alluring than the NPP (granted its strong anti-Nkrumahist credentials and attitude).
Dr. Nduom is more inclined toward the NPP and should simply go there. As a former Presidential candidate, one wonders what went wrong for him this time round. Too much pride preceding a huge fall, one may put it.
The Independent candidates should also determine for themselves which political front will accept them and settle there.
In the final analysis, the EC has proved that it cannot be undermined. I like this approach and will urge the disqualified candidates to accept their fate and appeal to their followers not to tempt the laws of the country.
Surely, the battle lines for Election 2016 are clear. I believe strongly that the elections will not be thwarted by any court action that any of the disqualified candidates may take against the EC. We wait for further developments, even as we commend the EC Chair for being bold in applying the electoral laws of the land. More of those, Madam Osei!!
I shall return…
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