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General News of Saturday, 20 October 2012

Source: myjoyonline.com

NDP’s disqualification is shameful – Kweku Baako

The disqualification of the newly formed National Democratic Party from the December polls raised a few eyebrows, others jubilated, but for Mr Kweku Baako, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, the whole episode was shameful.

More importantly, according Mr Baako, when the party’s flag-bearer Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings had shown with all intent to contest and win the 2012 elections, and yet could not be apprised of how to complete such a “basic thing” in a bigger picture of running a whole nation.

“I was intrigued and surprised when I first heard that the NDP has been disqualified,” he stated on Joy FM and Multitv’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday.

“It is a great shame that a party with that kind of character and all the public interest factor that came with it, was unable to fulfil these basic things.”

Ghana’s Electoral Commission disqualified the NDP Thursday after the body found some anomalies in the party’s form they submitted few hours to the closing time of the final day (day two) of receiving nomination forms.

The NDP at a press conference challenged reasons cited for their disqualification, and threatened to go court to injunct the electoral process.

But for a party that was bent on unseating the ruling party it broke away from, Mr kweku Baako thinks the development has exposed it lack of readiness to compete in the election, even to the extent that the NDP relied on a law that has since been repealed to contest its exclusion.

“That could be part of the problem of the lack of readiness of a political party in relative to what it ought to do. At this level, there is no excuse for ignorance on enabling regulations that guides your operation and work.”

He said the NDP should have shown some diligence and professionalism in filling the forms to avoid the embarrassment.

“My view was that anybody who forms a political party, and in the circumstances in which the NDP emerged, I would have thought they would do a lot of due diligence, very efficient diligence in how to go about this very preliminary exercise.

"This is not a major exercise but an important and essential requirement, so i was thinking that in terms of organisation, and competence, professionalism you ought not have too much problems with that basic fundamental matter.”

Accusations and counter-accusations

Speaking on the same show, NPP’s Communications Director Nana Akomea Akomea appealed to all and sundry not let the filing process become a burden on the process.

He however appealed to the Electoral Commission to allow a day for those who could not fulfil its requirement due to some technical challenges to complete the process to put to rest “all the accusations and counteraccusations”.

On his part, Minister of Communications, Haruna Idrisu called on all to respect state institutions like the Electoral Commission, as well as upholding and respecting the rule of law governing the country.

He said notice of nominations was published in the state-owned Daily Graphic and agreed with Mr Baako that a party that is desirous of contesting an election should have exercise some diligence in what they do.

Mr Idrisu felt the NDP after sleeping on their legitimate right to file their forms within the stipulated period would succeed in their court action.

“I do not see any chance of the NDP participating in the December elections”, he said but was quick to add that “I am not happy and I am not sad [about the development.”

For Kofi Adams, former deputy General Secretary of the NDC, since the only place one could resort to when dialogue fails is court, parties whose nomination forms were rejected, and believe were not given a fair deal to go to court.

He however describe as a “mystery” claims by NPP scribe Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie that president Mahama influenced NDP’s disqualification. He tehrefore wondered how the president would be able to tell that party A or B did not fill this column of the forms well so disqualify them.

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