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General News of Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Injunction against December polls would be grave – Mike Oquaye

Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has warned of serious consequences if any of the candidates disqualified by the Electoral Commission (EC) succeed to secure an injunction on the December 7 elections.

He has urged the Court to expedite any litigation that may arise as a result of the disqualification.

“After 6th of January, the President at this time will become functus officio, he will be out of office, the Vice President will be no more, the Parliament itself is resolved.

“The only person who is will be the Chief Justice and of course the Armed Forces and then the Civil Service of Ghana. So I only trust that the Judges, if there is any litigation, will move expeditiously which they are capable of doing so I have no problem,” he said.

The EC has come under severe criticism following the disqualification of some 12 presidential aspirants to contest the upcoming election.

The Commission rejected the nominations of Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People's Party (PPP), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of National Democratic Party and 11 other presidential candidates in the December elections.

Other disqualified political parties include Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), United Progressive Party (UPP), Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD), Progressive People’s Party (PPP), and the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP). The rest include United Front Party (UFP), All People’s Congress (APC), National Democratic Party (NDP), and the Independent People’s Party (IPP).

The four presidential candidates who successfully went through the process are the flagbearers of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, National Democratic Congress, President John Mahama, Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet and an independent candidate, Jacob Yeboah.

Chairperson of the Commission, Charlotte Osei, explained that the disqualified aspirants did not meet the criteria for filing as presidential candidates. While some have hailed the bold decision by the EC, many however say the errors cited by the EC for disqualification are mainly administrative, suggesting the rejected political parties and the presidential aspirants deserved a chance to ameliorate the errors.

The PPP and NDP have since threatened to fight the matter in court, a situation could stall the electoral process that is about two months away.

Speaking to Joy News, Professor Oquaye, who is former NPP MP for Dome-Kwabenya, said he finds the EC’s reason for disqualifying the 12 political parties baffling.

He said the long drawn-out legal battle on the on voters’ register that culminated in a Supreme Court order to the Commission to rid the electoral roll of persons who registered to vote with National Health Insurance cards proves that the EC is not above making administrative errors.

He said a quick resolution of the matter if it gets to court would be in the interest of the country.