The disqualified Presidential Candidate of the All People’s Congress (APC), Mr Hassan Ayariga, says he is suspending his presidential campaign until the court’s ruling on the suit his party has filed against his disqualification.
“Because I believe in the rule of law and democracy, I will not campaign for myself until the court decides. But I will continue to campaign for my parliamentary candidates until justice is delivered”, he told journalists at a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Accra.
Mr Ayariga announced that the party had sued the Electoral Commission (EC) for disqualifying him as a presidential candidate for the 2016 presidential election, adding, “As I speak to you, my lawyers are in court.”
He said what the party was seeking for was justice, explaining that it was not about him as a presidential candidate, but that it was about the law.
“We must promote multiparty democracy and we must defend our laws” he said and, therefore, appealed to the judges handling the petitions of disqualified presidential hopefuls to “look into the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to disqualify 12 presidential candidates”.
“I appeal to all the judges in the High and Supreme Court to look into this thing very well, so that the EC cannot bring to this country chaos and discourage voters”, Mr Ayariga said.
Accusation of the EC
He accused the EC of deceiving the general public and “lying” against him, stressing that all the allegations the EC levelled against him and the party were not true but a calculated attempt to mislead the whole world.
Mr Ayariga said the decision of the EC was a deliberate attempt to eliminate the party from the ballot paper, “a power it does not have”.
Displaying a copy of the presidential form which the EC said Mr Ayariga could not fill correctly, Mr Ayariga described the pronouncement of the EC as a ridicule of his integrity.
He wondered whether the EC Chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei, was experienced enough to supervise the election and charged the EC to work to ensure that Ghanaians had confidence in it.
Mr Ayariga accused the EC of favouring other political parties while being hard on others, saying that some political parties did not attach their audit report as required by the EC, yet those parties were let off the hook.
Disqualification was unfair
He described the disqualification as unfair because two out of the 432 who endorsed his candidature “ignorantly” endorsed another political party, questioning, “How can the EC tell the whole world that because of the two individuals, the APC cannot contest the presidential elections?”
Mr Ayariga explained that the Constitution required each presidential candidate to get two individuals in each district to endorse them, “What the constitution means is, making sure that you are visible in each district.”