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General News of Thursday, 20 October 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Suits against EC won’t disrupt election timetable – Analyst predicts

A political science lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has dismissed fears the 2016 polls will drag because of the suits filed against the election management body.

Dr. Edward Brenya said he is convinced that the suits against the Electoral Commission (EC) by some of the 13 presidential aspirants who were rejected from the December polls will be determined expeditiously by the courts.

“I don’t see the possibility of the electoral calendar being changed,” he said.

Dr. Brenya made the submission on Wednesday on late night current affairs program, PM Express, which airs on the Joy News channel on Multi TV.

The EC scraped nerves recently when it rejected the nominations of 13 presidential candidates to contest the polls on December 7. The Commission cited errors on the nomination forms of the presidential hopefuls. Some of the infractions, according to the EC, said to be criminal and have been referred to the police for action.

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People's Party (PPP), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of National Democratic Party (NDP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) have hauled the Commission to Court in a bid to overturn their disqualification.

Hassan Ayariga of the All People’s Party (APC) has also indicated he will soon go Court to seek redress over his disqualification.

Speaking on PM Express Wednesday, Dr Brenya said he is banking his prediction of a smooth electoral process on some 17 special courts assigned by the Chief Justice, Justice Georgina Woode, to handle all related electoral disputes that may occur before, during and after the December 7 polls.

“We need to commend the Chief Justice for setting up the courts to expedite this action,” he said.

Dr Brenya said the "EC is not making moral arguments, it is making legal arguments,” defending the Commission's rejection of the 13 aspirants from the December contest.

According to him, the excuse by the disqualified presidential aspirants that they did not know that some people who endorsed their nomination forms have also endorsed other nominations - for which the EC disqualified them - will not be tenable in court.

He said the disqualified aspirants and the party they lead had a duty to select people with integrity to endorse their nomination forms. The EC, according to him, followed the law when it disqualified them for those infractions.

“When you have persons of integrity, ideally these individuals will not endorse two nomination forms when they know that it is illegal,” he said.

Watch the full programme that was hosted by Malik Abass Daabu in the video link below.