The Electoral Commission (EC), yesterday, set the stage for another strong competition between President Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and former President John Mahama, leader of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), by clearing the duo to contest the December poll.
The two political rivals contested in 2012 and Mr John Mahama won, but the tables turned in favour of President Akufo-Addo when he also won in 2016.
The December 7, 2020 is, therefore, going to decide who is who.
Five out of the 17 potential presidential candidates have, however, been disqualified on grounds of forgery and the matter further referred to the police for prosecution, the Electoral Commission (EC) announced at a press conference yesterday.
The five are Kofi Koranteng, Mauvrich Kofi Gane, independent candidates, Akwasi Addai Odike, United Progressive Party, Kwasi Busumbru, People’s Action Party, and Nana Agyenim Boateng, United Front Party.
Explaining the reasons for the disqualifications, the Chairperson, Jean Mensa, noted among others that the team in its review of the forms submitted observed that some aspirants forged signatures of people who were their supporters to fill their forms.
This is not the first time aspiring presidential candidates could not make it through the filing of nomination forms. It would be recalled that in 2016, then flagbearers, Papa Kwesi Nduom, and Hassan Ayiraga become victims of disqualification. It had to take a court ruling to reverse the Commission’s decision.
Meanwhile, the EC says the aspiring presidential candidates who could not qualify would have their filing fees of GH¢100,000 refunded to them.
However, candidates cleared to contest in the 2020 presidential election, in the order of filing, are Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker, independent candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, New Patriotic Party, Christian Kwabena Andrews, Ghana Union Movement, and Brigitte Akosua Dzogbenuku, Progressive Peoples Party.
Others are John Dramani Mahama, National Democratic Congress, Akua Donkor, Ghana Freedom Party, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, National Democratic Party, and Hassan Ayariga, All People’s Congress.
The rest are Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, Convention People’s Party, Henry Herbert Lartey, Great Consolidated People’s Party, Percival Kofi Akpaloo, Liberal Party Ghana, and David Asibi Ayindenaba Apasera, People’s National Congress.
Addressing the media yesterday in Accra, the Chairperson of the Commission, Jean Mensa, said this year, the Commission set up two teams which were tasked to review all the forms submitted.
The technical team scrutinised the forms submitted to ensure that the aspirants satisfied the qualifications as set out in the law, such as the age requirements, and fulfilment of tax obligations among others.
She said: “We are confident that both teams have been thorough and yet fair in their work.
Yet another welcome innovation was the five-day period provided for the filing process, as opposed to the two days provided in previous nomination processes. This allowed enough time for aspirants to correct any errors identified in their forms.All in all, these innovations helped eliminate the confusion and tension that characterised previous nomination processes.”
Before ending the press conference, the Chairperson wished all the qualified candidates the best of luck in their bid to ascend the high office of the Presidency.
She urged them to engage in a decent campaign – a campaign based on policies and programmes that will lead to the betterment of our society.
She added that as referees, their role was to arrange and organise orderly, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible elections, which, she assured, that they are working to do just that.
“We do not have the power to determine who wins the elections. It is not in our power or control to determine the outcome of the election. That power lies with the good people of our dear country. The citizens, and the citizens alone, can determine who should lead them – Not the Electoral Commission,” she opined.
Jane Mensah continued: “It is the candidate who is given power to lead this country by the citizens who will be declared President of the Republic of Ghana by the Electoral Commission, come the 7th of December, 2020.”
According to her, to enhance and ensure a transparent, credible, fair, peaceful and yet accountable electoral process and elections in 2020, the Commission continues to develop innovations to ensure that we carry citizens along in all our processes.
This transparency, she stated, was evident throughout the Registration and Exhibition exercises, and, indeed, throughout the week-long nomination process.
“As a Commission, we intend to be open and transparent in all our processes and keep you, our distinguished stakeholders, informed in a timely manner as we inch towards December, 2020.
This year, the Commission made the nomination forms to aspiring presidential and parliamentary candidates available online. This helped ease the burden of travelling to the Commission to pick up the forms, and eliminated over-crowding at the Commission’s offices, thereby curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” she observed.
The post Nana, Mahama Set For Round 3 ;The current score is One-One ; Odike, 4 others booted out appeared first on The Chronicle Online.Read Full Story