The Electoral Commission (EC), has defended its decision to announce new errors it spotted on the nomination forms of some presidential aspirants it disqualified from the December 7 polls.
The commission on Monday detected some new anomalies on the forms of the 12 presidential nominees, few hours after the Supreme Court ordered it to extend the nomination period by two days, and also give the parties a hearing.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Head of Communications at the EC, Eric Kofi Dzakpusu, argued that the commission pointed out the new errors in the interest of the political parties.
“Per our understanding or the orders of the Supreme Court, we were to give the candidates a hearing, and in that hearing; we were to give them the opportunity to identify the errors on their forms and then make the necessary corrections.”
“So it was in all fairness to the candidates themselves that in the process of giving the hearing, some of these infractions were identified and brought to their notice, and as a matter of fact, they saw it and accepted it in good faith, and agreed that these are infractions, errors or omissions which can be corrected, and therefore agreed to take it and correct.”
“…So the commission thought that in all fairness to them, it is better to draw their attention to all these anomalies which have been discovered due to the extension of the process so they can solve them, that would be better than just pointing the two to them for them to go and come back only for the commission to detect other errors and hold them accountable to it. So I think the process in all fairness is to the benefit of the candidates themselves,” he added.
Why no errors were spotted on NDC, NPP form
When asked by host of Eyewitness News, Richard Dela Sky, why the commission did not spot errors on the already qualified candidates of the National Democratic Congress or the New Patriotic Patriotic Party, Mr. Dzakpasu argued that those forms were not in contention.
“The issues involving those presidential candidates are not in contention. The Supreme Court was very clear…The Supreme Court did not at any point in time say that we should go back and have a second look at the forms of those other people. In any case their form had passed the time of the process.”
Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the PPP, Dr. Hassan Ayariga, APC, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, NDC, and two others who were among the 12 aspirants who were disqualified from this year’s presidential race, sued the EC and demanded an order from the court to quash the commission’s decision.
The EC subsequently went to the Supreme Court after an Accra High ordered it to allow the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) to correct errors on the forms of Dr. Nduom.
But the Supreme Court ordered the EC to give the disqualified aspirants a hearing, and also extend the nomination period for two days.
Parties storm EC to correct errors
The EC adhered to the Supreme Court’s order; but pointed out new errors on the nomination forms of the disqualified aspirants.
Ten out of the 12 disqualified aspirants were able to amend their nomination forms at the close of the extended nomination period on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Meanwhile, the parties are expected to ballot for the presidential slots on Thursday November 10, 2016.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana