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General News of Thursday, 3 November 2016

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

EC is being manipulated – Papa Kwesi Nduom

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, presidential aspirant of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), told journalists at the premises of the Supreme Court yesterday that the case involving his disqualification from taking part in the December 7 presidential race is a deliberate plan.

“It’s a deliberate ploy. It’s a deliberate ploy from different quarters. Whether it is state sponsored organizations or political parties I can’t say,” stated.

He added, “All I am saying is that the word is out there, whether someone is doing it deliberately or not matters not to me.”

According to the PPP flag bearer, “Court or no court, we have a campaign to prosecute and indeed there are some people who believe that all of this is a deliberate attempt to slow us down and cause disaffection to get our people to be discouraged. They go out there and tell the people of Ghana that even our parliamentary candidates are not there.”

He said that he was least perturbed about the decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) to seek a review of the high court ruling.

He stated that the decision by the EC to go back to court is a deliberate ploy by certain elements to frustrate his campaign.

The EC has gone to the Supreme Court days after an Accra High Court had quashed its decision to disqualify Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom from contesting in the December presidential election.

The court held that the EC must allow Dr. Nduom to correct the mistakes on his nomination papers and submit them.

According to the court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, the commission was simply arrogating unto itself powers it did not have.

The judge was emphatic that the EC has no basis to complain that nomination period had closed, when in fact, it had not set any.

Dr. Nduom is among 13 presidential hopefuls disqualified from contesting in the elections.

Nduom Unfazed

He said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) could be in the media in Accra but the PPP is where it matters, adding that “we are where the people are and it is wonderful what is going on; people want change but just not any change, they want the PPP…No matter what anybody does, we will be there; we are there.

Hearing

Earlier, the court had set Friday, November 4, to hear the case brought against the PPP leader by the EC.

Justice Gabriel Pwamang, sitting as a sole judge of the apex court, granted the request by Thaddeus Sory, lawyer for the EC, to abridge time for the hearing of the case.

Mr Sory said he was before the court for two main reliefs – the first being a request for the court to fix a date for the parties to file their statement of case and for the court to give the parties a date for the hearing of the substantive case.

14 Days Waived

Joseph Ayikoi Otoo, counsel for Dr Nduom, responding, said under Rule 64, he had 14 days to respond but would not insist on that in the instant case.

He said his clients were served with the motion Monday evening, indicating that he has an interest in the case being disposed off on time.

Mr Otoo, former Attorney General, stated that he would comply with the orders of the court.

Justice Pwamang said the court was prepared to make sacrifices to hear the case on Friday.

He said the interested party (PPP) must file its statement of case by 10 am today.

EC’s Dissent

The Commission, in a statement issued on Monday said, “In the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, the Commission has today [Monday, October 31, 2016] filed an application at the Supreme Court to quash the High Court decision and seek clarity on the relevant aspects of the law on candidate nominations.”

The statement, signed by Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, head of communications at the EC, further added that the commission believes in the overall national interest and on the grounds of public policy and that the Supreme Court provides clarity on the matter.

It noted, “A judgment from the Apex court would effectively bring finality to the issue once and for all.”