A law lecturer at the University of Ghana has expressed worry over the Electoral Commission's decision to appeal a lower court’s ruling ordering the reinstatement of Progressive People’s Party (PPP) flagbearer, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom.

Dr Poku Adusei said the appeal suit filed at the Supreme Court Monday could affect the election calendar considering the nation has barely 37 days to the presidential and parliamentary elections.

“I am worried the Electoral Commission is pursuing this line because by the time the matter is resolved in the case of Nduom in the Supreme Court we would have lost at least about 10 days,” he said.

The EC disqualified the PPP leader from the December 7 presidential race on October 10, a decision an Accra High Court had described as a breach of the economist's right to natural justice.

Justice Kyei Baffuor, the judge who presided over the matter said the rule that a man cannot be condemned until he is heard was not followed when the EC boss, Charlotte Osei disqualified the presidential candidate.

He directed the EC to give back the nomination form to Dr Nduom for an amendment to be done on it as required by C.I.94, the law governing the December 7 polls.

Some seasoned lawyers and social commentators had described the ruling as a victory for democracy and rule of law.

But barely a week after the court delivered its ruling, the EC has headed to the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the lower court.

A statement released by the Commission Monday said it disagreed with the ruling, saying it is deficient legally and in the area of public policy.

It contended the errors committed by some of the 12 disqualified presidential candidates are serious and bother on criminality.

"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 statement read.

"In the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, the Commission has today [Monday] 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."

Dr Adusei who had earlier called for the resignation of the EC boss based on the High Court said the appeal by the Commission was in bad taste.

"If the case is only to squash the decision of the High Court in respect of Nduom then it may not resolve all the issues," he said, adding things might change if the EC approach it in a different way.

"If it is crafted in such a way that it would bother on an interpretation of the C.I.94 vis-à-vis the constitution then maybe we will be heading elsewhere and be empowering the Commission to take such decisions," he said.

Law lecturer at the Central University College Law School, Yaw Oppong said the Commission has done the right thing by challenging the decision at the apex court.

He said the fact that Ghanaians have few days to head to the polls does not mean a "person who strongly believes that there is a dispute in law should just shelve it just because there is no time to do something."

He, however, added that had the Commission started the electoral process earlier things might turn out differently.

"I am of the view that the EC should have started earlier but that has nothing to do with the matter at hand."

 

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