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Feature Article of Friday, 9 November 2012

Columnist: Poku, E. K.

Disqualification of NDC

Disqualification of NDC from Taking Part in the 2012 Presidential Elections

Background History

23rd May 2012
1. The NDC and DFP formally merged as one party at a ceremony in Accra.
2. NDC practised self-imposed deadline to register the new party.
3. This is their right to do so.
4. The NDC has so far misled both the EC and the public about the registration of the new party, for the name has been kept secret and the registration deadline until now remains unknown.
5. The new Parties’ level of support remains unknown, for they continued on their own against the rules and regulations in the constitution and continued to use the name NDC.
6. At a party joint news conference (please note: This is significant !), the then Vice-President and now President Mahama expressed delight on the “merger”.
7. Reading a statement jointly signed by him and Mr. Bede A. Ziedeng, former General Secretary of DFP, Mr. Asiedu Nketia, said the approval of NDC of the merger, they had brought to a close, a page on the DFP.
He said the DFP would take the necessary steps to inform the EC accordingly.

The EC now says they have not been informed about the merger officially. They admitted however that they knew of the merger.
We say: the knowledge of the merger is all that is required to disqualify NDC, not the registration.
The final agreement of the two parties saw to it that all regional executives of the NDC did include a DFP-member. Mr. Nketia however asked all DFP members to reapply for their status as NDC-members to be registered. This statement clearly shows or indicates that Asiedu-Nketia is an illiterate; he did not know what he was doing. How about other members of NDC, how about Obed Asamoah ?
This serious mistake by NDC was only possible because under Mills’ leadership the country was ruled like Nkrumah days, that is: with impunity. They never thought they would even be challenged.
How about the EC ? He is a learned intelligent man. Why did he allow a party to be on the ballot whose registration has lapsed because of the merger and has since not been re-registered. This is clear negligence !


What does the Constitution say ?

THE FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FOURTH ACT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA ENTITLED “THE POLITICAL PARTIES ACT”, 2000
Merger of registered political parties
19. Where two or more registered political parties come together and merge as one party
a) the registration of each party existing immediately before the effective date the merger shall lapse, and
b) the new party shall require registration for the purposes of this Act.


The Upshot

a) The NDC-registration with the EC expired before the merger.
b) They created a self-imposed deadline to register their new party.
c) It is illegal therefore for the NDC (or DFP or any other unregistered party) to stand any election or be granted any rights requiring registration as stated in The Political Parties Act of 2000.
d) It has disqualified itself. Period.
The EC does not need to be informed of any merger as the merger itself lets the registration lapse. The EC does not need to disqualify the registration or to enact the “cancellation” of the registration as stated in other places in this act.
e) The price EC has to pay for this negligence is immediate resignation.
f) Heads of State everywhere in the world shall be informed.

Dr. Edward K. Poku, Germany

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