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General News of Monday, 7 November 2016


December 7 is not in danger - Dr Kwesi Aning

A security expert has dismissed claims that the December general election might not come off because of the multiple legal suits against the Electoral Commission (EC).

Dr Kwesi Aning, Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) said Ghanaians have to "believe and trust" that the court would deal expeditiously with the matter before it for the election to be held in December.

"This is a test of the strength and resilience of our national institutions. There are no short cuts to progress and therefore we've got to go through the laid down procedures and the processes to ensure that those who feel aggrieved at least have a fair hearing," he said.

A cross section of Ghanaians is worried if they would be able to cast their ballot in the December 7 scheduled presidential and parliamentary elections as disqualified presidential aspirants are suing the Commission in different cases.

The October 10 disqualification of some 13 presidential candidates by the EC for improperly filling their nomination forms as required by the C.I.94, the law governing the 2016 election triggered the multiple lawsuits.

Minority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu told Joy News he feared the December 7 would be rescheduled as happened in Nigeria during the 2015 election when the polls were postponed for six weeks.

Progressive People's Party (PPP) Presidential Candidates, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom was first to challenge his disqualification in court and won.

The court presided over by Justice Kyei Baffuor ordered the EC to hand over the nomination form to Dr Nduom to make amendments.

The Commission contested the ruling resulting in the decision to head to the Supreme Court (SC) to seek an interpretation.

All People's Congress (APC) Presidential Candidates, Dr Hassan Ayariga also challenged his disqualification and won his disqualification suit against the EC.

The other disqualified presidential candidates are also in court challenging what they described as the unfair treatment meted to them by the EC.

However, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the EC to give opportunities to the disqualified candidates to make corrections on their nomination forms, upholding the lower court's decision.

Sections of Ghanaians believe the EC should not have disqualified the candidates in the first place, but Dr Aning said it forms part of the democratic system Ghanaians signed up for.

"For me going to court and the court giving a judgment and the EC taking it up to the Supreme Court shows that resilience that I am talking about," he said.
He said the unease of Ghanaians regarding the election could be assuaged by the Commission constantly sending messages to calm them.

"I think we need a narrative that says the 17 member judges that will deal with this cases will deal with them expeditiously, fairly, and transparent for people to go about their normal business," he said.