Some of the political parties whose presidential aspirants have been disqualified from this year’s presidential election by the Electoral Commission (EC) have expressed shock at the decision and threatened to take legal action against the commission if it does not rescind its decision to disqualify them.
The parties are the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the National Democratic Party (NDP), the All People’s Congress (APC), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in separate interviews, representatives of the five parties said the EC’s decision to disqualify them was baseless and lacked substance.
The EC yesterday made the shocking announcement of rejecting the nomination of 12 political party presidential aspirants to contest this year’s presidential election.
According to the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei, the disqualified aspirants did not meet the criteria for filing the nomination forms.
She cited the forging of signatures as one of the major reasons that got most of the aspirants disqualified from participating in the December 7 polls.
The other political parties whose presidential aspirants were rejected are: the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), the United Progressive Party (UPP), the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD), the United Front Party (UFP) and the Independent People’s Party (IPP).
The four who successfully went through the process are the flag bearers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; the National Democratic Congress (NDC), President John Mahama; the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, and an independent candidate, Jacob Osei Yeboah.
GCPP blown away
The flag bearer of the GCPP, Dr Henry Herbert Lartey, said he and his executives were shocked to hear the news of his disqualification in the media.
“I rushed to the EC, only to be told that all my four documents submitted could not be found. What in God’s name is that supposed to mean?” he asked.
Dr Lartey said he personally submitted the documents to the EC and could not understand why it could not find them.
“We will be forced to sue the EC if it does not bring our documents and show us what the party did to warrant the disqualification,” he added.
PPP not worried
The General Secretary of the PPP, Mr Murtala Mohammed, speaking to an Accra-based radio station, Joy FM, said the party was not agitated by the news, although it came as a big shock to it.
“The flag bearer, Dr Nduom, is calm about the news, just like the executives. We haven’t officially been told about the reason for Dr Nduom’s disqualification but we intend to find out,” he said.
When told that the EC disqualified the aspirant because one of its signatures was forged, Mr Mohammed said it was not true because the same team that looked through the document submitted for the 2012 election put together the 2016 document.
In a similar interview with Joy FM, the General Secretary of the PNC, Mr Atik Mohammed, accused the EC of using “ambush tactics” to weed out some parties.
“This whole thing doesn’t make sense and the party is so much surprised and shocked about the decision,” he said.
Asked what the PNC intended to do next, he said it would take a decision after a meeting by the executive.
The General Secretary of the NDP, Mr Mohammed Frimpong, said the reason cited for the disqualification of its flag bearer, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, was not good enough..
“If a subscriber who sponsored our aspirant did the same for another with a different signature, why would the EC blame our aspirant? Obviously we would not have known,” he said.
He, therefore, described the decision as an act of unleashing the evil alliance in the electoral process.
The General Secretary of the APC, Mr Razak Opoku, said it was too early to comment on the issue, as the party was yet to meet to look at the way forward.
The Electoral Commission’s decision to disqualify some flag bearers of some political parties from contesting this year’s presidential election has attracted the fury of the parties, with some of them threatening to take legal action against the EC.