Ghana’s High Court on Friday ruled against the disqualification of one of the thirteen presidential aspirants ruled out of the December 7 general elections by the country’s electoral commission.
Two-time presidential aspirant and businessman Papa Kwesi Nduom sued the EC after his disqualification early October as a result of errors while filing nomination forms.
“I will proceed after quashing the decision of the respondents disqualifying the applicant as a candidate and order that the respondents afford opportunity to the applicant to make the necessary alteration or amendment to his nomination paper,” the High Court presided by Judge Eric K. Baffour ruled.
We’ve indicated that all these court cases are means of cleaning the electoral environment, streamlining issues before we go to the polls. So, it’s not a question of credibility. It’s a question of interpretation of the law.
The judge did not award costs and further ruled that the “EC has no basis to complain that nomination period has closed when they did not set one.”
The ruling was hailed by supporters of the Progressive People’s Party led by Papa Kwesi Nduom who told the media that he took the action because it was an important matter for the country’s democracy.
“This is a matter that is important for our democracy. It is important for our development. It is important for our freedom particularly our human rights and I believe that it is those rights that have been restored,” he said.
The Electoral Commission said the court’s decision does not tarnish their image, which according to Nduom’s lawyer Nii Ayikoi Otoo and another disqualified presidential aspirant Hassan Ayariga, puts the EC’s credibility in question.
“We’ve indicated that all these court cases are means of cleaning the electoral environment, streamlining issues before we go to the polls. So, it’s not a question of credibility. It’s a question of interpretation of the law and the extent to which we understand and abide by the law as stated by the judges,” the Head of Communications at the EC, Eric Dzakpasu, told local media.
Other disqualified aspirants including the People’s National Convention (PNC)‘s candidate Dr Edward Mahama, have filed suits against the Electoral Commission (EC).
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.
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.