Ghana’s electoral commission has disqualified thirteen out of the seventeen presidential hopefuls who filed to run for the election in 2016.
Among the disqualified candidates on Monday are two-time aspirant and businessman Papa Kwesi Nduom, and former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.
The Electoral Commission Chairperson, Charlotte Osei announced at a news conference that those disqualified failed to meet the necessary requirements in filing their nomination forms.
Different reasons were given for the disqualification of each aspirant including incomplete details on forms, failure to meet legal requirements during filing process and failure to pay the required fee within the stipulated time (not later than 12 noon on Monday, October 10, 2016).
Others were disqualified because they were fraudulently endorsed by unqualified subscribers and the EC said it will “refer the matter of the possible forgeries to the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General for investigation and prosecution.”
President John Dramani Mahama qualified to run for the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) including the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) candidate Ivor Kobina Greenstreet and an independent presidential candidate Jacob Osei Yeboah.
Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings standing for the National Democratic Party (NDP) has described her disqualification as a “clear and blatant act against democracy” and her party is not backing down.
She was disqualified for not meeting the requirements for nomination making it the second time she has been disqualified after she couldn’t contest in 2012 for not appropriately filling her nomination forms.
“This is totally unacceptable and as a party we are going to take a strong decision on this particular one and we are going to go out there and make sure that if we can fight this to the highest level; we will do that to make sure we will never allow this one to pass,” Deputy Communications Director of her party, Ernest Owusu Bempah told local radio Citi FM.
Another disappointed aspirant and a candidate during the 2012 elections, Hassan Ayariga, described the disqualification as “bogus” and also said he will seek redress in court.
The other aspirants have also expressed displeasure with the disqualification.