Akoto Ampaw, the lead counsel who got the Supreme Court to order the EC to release collation sheets to the political parties in the December polls, has expressed apprehension that the impending general election might not come off as scheduled due to the posture of the Electoral Commission (EC).
According to him, the actions of the commission, chaired by Charlotte Osei, have triggered a flurry of legal suits against the EC and posited that, that might throw the commission’s time table for the December 7 elections into disarray.
In a letter to Ms. Charlotte Osei, the lawyer sought to find out many things concerning the elections, particularly when the numerous suits might end for the presidential candidates to ballot for positions on the ballot paper, as the election day is just around the corner.
“I write to you as a citizen of the Republic because of my anxiety that the general election scheduled for 7th December 2016, might not come off. My anxiety, which unfortunately is shared by many well-meaning citizens, stems from the continuing legal battles between the commission and several presidential aspirants, who have been disqualified by the commission,” Mr Akoto Ampaw stated.
He said, “This is against the backdrop of the incontestable proposition that the deadline permitted by the Constitution, under Article 63 (2) (a) thereof, for the conduct of presidential elections is 7th December, 2016.”
Lawyer Akoto Ampaw said he had observed that “The commission has been quick to assure the nation that it is on top of the issues; that there is no reason for citizens to be agitated; that the elections might come on as scheduled and that the commission will definitely not only supervise a successful conduct of general elections on 7th December 2016, but will deliver the most successful and efficient, free, fair and credible elections Ghana has ever experienced.”
He said although he had no reason to doubt “the sincerity of the assurances of the commission,” the EC would agree that the anxieties of many Ghanaians, including himself, “would largely be laid to rest” if the commission could provide direct answers to specific questions that he was seeking from it in the exercise of his fundamental human rights under Article 21 (1) (f) of the 1992 Constitution.
“In the commission’s considered judgment, and all things being equal, when does the commission project that the current spate of law suits involving it and those presidential aspirants, whom the commission has disqualified for stated reasons, will end to enable the commission carry out the ballot for positions of the presidential candidates on the ballot paper? When in the commission’s considered judgment, will the ballot papers for the presidential candidates for the 2016 elections be printed and ready for the December 2016 elections?” He queried.
Mr Ampaw further asked whether other election materials such as the Statement of Poll for the Office of Member of Parliament and Statement of Poll for the Office of President (Pink Sheets), the Certificate to be Endorsed on Writ (Form EL1 B for parliamentary elections) and the Certificate to be Endorsed on Writ (Form EL 1 B for presidential elections); and the Parliamentary Elections – Results Collation Form (Form EL 23A) and the Presidential Elections Result Collation Form (Form EL 23B) were already printed and ready for use for the elections.
“If they are already printed, when were they so printed? If these materials have not already been printed, when, in the judgment of the commission, will they be printed and be in the custody of the commission to ensure the conduct of the general election on 7th December, 2016?” The legal gem inquired.
He asked, “Will these election materials be printed in Ghana or abroad?”