The Electoral Commission of Ghana says the National Democratic Congress’ arguments against the candidacy of one Charles Opoku in the run-up to the Assin North by-election are flawed, absurd and unconstitutional.
According to the EC, the NDC’s arguments are baseless and meant to malign the EC and as such should be treated with the contempt it deserves.
This follows the NDC’s claim that because Charles Opoku is not a registered voter in the Assin North constituency, he holds no allegiance there and thus should not be allowed to contest the elections in the event he wins the NPP’s primaries.
They insist that the Electoral Commission’s explanation that a person need not be a registered voter in the Constituency he/she intends to stand for election is illogical and that the EC should have relied on the CI 127 and in particular the Nomination Form contained in CI 127 before arriving at the conclusion that a person need not be a registered voter in the same Constituency he/she intends to contest.
However replying to the NDC, the EC states clearly that their argument is flawed.
Citing the Nomination Form contained in CI 127 the EC explains that only those nominating the candidate are expected to be registered voters in the constituency and not the candidate himself so far as said candidate meets constitutional requirements to represent the constituency.
“For the benefit of the public, the Nomination Form states as follows: “We the undersigned registered voters in ………………… Constituency do hereby nominate…………. ‘of the same Constituency’ to stand for election as a Member of Parliament, and we hereby certify that to the best of our knowledge he/she is qualified to be elected as such.”
“Clearly, as stated above, the Nomination Form only requires those nominating a candidate for a parliamentary election in a Constituency to be registered voters in the same Constituency, and not the candidate who is being nominated to contest. The candidate is only required to hail from or reside in the Constituency to qualify to contest in that Constituency.
“If one should interpret what is stated on the Parliamentary Nomination Form to imply that the candidate must also be a registered voter in the same Constituency that would be absurd, unreasonable, illogical, and unconstitutional to borrow some of the words of Sammy Gyamfi.”
The EC goes further to reveal that the NDC Parliamentary Candidate in the just-ended Kumawu by-election was himself not a registered voter in the Kumawu constituency.
According to the EC, Mr. Kwasi Amankwaa is a registered voter in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency and the NDC hierarchy was very well aware of same before fielding him to stand for election in Kumawu.
“Was Sammy Gyamfi not aware of this phrase, ‘of the same Constituency’ on the Nomination Form before allowing their candidate for the Kumawu By-Election who is NOT a registered voter in Kumawu to contest for the recent By- Election?
“For the information of the general public, the NDC Candidate for the recent By-Election Mr. Kwasi Amankwaa is not a registered voter in the Kumawu Constituency. He is a registered voter in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, yet he contested in the Kumawu By-Election because he hails from there. Why didn’t the NDC raise this issue ahead of the Kumawu Constituency By-Election?” the EC quizzed.
The Commission further buttressed the point that the allegation that the EC is in cahoots with the ruling party to sneak in Charles Opoku’s name into the Assin North voters’ register is false and should be ignored.
“It is untrue and we call on Sammy Gyamfi to prove this,” it said.
“Over the years Sammy Gyamfi and his party have put out false claims aimed at maligning the integrity of the EC. This was evident in their petition to the Supreme Court after the 2020 Elections alleging that they had won the Elections.
“It is well known that they could not provide evidence in Court to support their allegations. This current allegation is no different. It is baseless and unfounded and a figment of the imagination of the National Communication Officer,” it added.
The EC called on the general public to ignore the NDC’s rhetoric on the matter.
“Ghana’s democracy has come of age and we call on Sammy Gyamfi to exercise maturity, decorum and truth in his discussions on the EC. We urge him to go out and campaign and leave the EC alone. As a Commission we remain committed to conducting transparent, peaceful and credible elections. We will devote our time to fulfilling our constitutional mandate, having provided the public with the truth on this matter,” it added.
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