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General News of Sunday, 2 October 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

EC to announce qualified presidential candidates next week

The Electoral Commission has said it will release the list of presidential candidates who have qualified to contest in this year’s general elections next week.

This comes after the commission on Friday [September 30], closed the window for the submission of completed nomination forms from persons interested in contesting in this year’s presidential election.

A total of 17 presidential aspirants had submitted their forms on the deadline for submission of forms on Friday, September 30. Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, told Citi News, the Commission will soon start vetting of the forms to ensure they are in compliance with the constitution and other subsidiary legislation.

“For the candidates who have met the requirements, their nominations will be accepted, which will mean they will be on the ballot paper for the December presidential elections,” she said. Charlotte Osei said the Commission will take seven (7) days to vet all the forms before coming out with the final list of qualified candidates.

“Next week, the Commission will come out with the official list of those who have met the legal requirements to be candidates for this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections,” she added.

At the end of the submission on Friday, 17 aspirants, including two independent candidates, submitted their forms, although the EC was expecting 23 people.

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP), led by Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom as the presidential nominee for the 2016 polls, sued the Electoral Commission (EC) and government through the Attorney-General, over the ‘high’ filing fees set by the Commission for presidential and parliamentary hopefuls.

The EC on Thursday [September 29] refused to accept the filing fee of some political parties including the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic congress (NDC), when their flagbearers and representatives submitted their forms.

The EC said it was temporary decision following a court injunction secured by the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) over the filling fees. The Commission however accepted the completed nomination forms of the various presidential aspirants.

But in a rather interesting twist, the Commission accepted the filing fee of the Progressive People’s Party’s (PPP) flag-bearer despite an interlocutory injunction placed on the process by the same party.

Dr. Nduom, who was represented by the party’s Chairman, Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, subsequently requested that the filing fee be returned; but the EC Chair, Charlotte Osei, said it was too late to return the fee as the PPP was aware of the legal implications yet went ahead to present the fee in bank draft form.