The Electoral Commission (EC) has said the claims by the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, to the effect that a parliamentary candidate must be a registered voter in a constituency they are seeking to represent is false.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the EC indicated that parliamentary candidates are only required to be registered voters but the constituency they are registered in, does not hinder them from contesting for an election in another constituency.

It however, explained that, the persons who are nominating the candidate are required to be voters in the constituency.

“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,” the EC stated.

“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’.” 

The EC stated that, it is thus illogical and unconstitutional for Sammy Gyamfi to interpret what is stated on the Parliamentary Nomination Form to imply that the candidate must also be a registered voter in the same constituency.

This comes after the NDC accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Electoral Commission of attempting to insert the name of one of the party's aspirants into the Assin North voters' register ahead of the by-election.

According to the party, the aspirant Charles Opoku is not a registered voter in the Assin North Constituency, adding that the “illegal” move will help the aspirant contest in the NPP parliamentary primary to select a candidate for the Assin North by-election.

But EC dismissed the claims stating that they were false and should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

“Per the Constitution, simply hailing from a constituency entitles a person to contest an election in that constituency so long as the person is, a Ghanaian, twenty-one years and above, of sound mind and a registered voter,” parts of the document read.

But Sammy Gyamfi in reacting to the EC’s press release asserted that the EC should have also relied on 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, the EC noted that if Mr Gyamfi’s claims were true, then the NDC parliamentary candidate for the Kumawu by-election would have been disqualified from going through the election.

“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 fact still remains that the allegation by Sammy Gyamfi to the effect that the EC is working with the NPP to sneak an unregistered voter into the Assin North register is FALSE. It is untrue and we call on Sammy Gyamfi to prove this.”

The Commission called out the NDC and Sammy Gyamfi for putting out false claims aimed at maligning the integrity of the EC and urged Ghanaians to ignore such comments.

The EC noted that they are committed to conducting transparent, peaceful and credible elections, and will devote their time to fulfilling their constitutional mandate.

Read the full statement below:

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