Update of a potentially fluid situation at the headquarters of the Electoral Commission (EC) where 12 presidential candidates are in a battle against time to submit their nomination forms before the close of business or stand disqualified.
They were given a second chance to make corrections on their forms after five presidential candidates went to court to challenge their disqualification announced last October.
After the EC lost its first suit filed by Progressive People’s Party (PPP) Presidential candidate Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, the EC went to the Supreme Court to seek a review of the decision.
Seven-member Electoral Commission headed by Charlotte Osei [middle]
In a move expected to reduce litigation, the Supreme Court ordered the EC to give all the 12 disqualified candidates, five of whom were in court, a new opportunity to effect changes.
The candidates now have barely 24 hours to do so.
But in a move condemned by All People’s Congress (APC) as ‘ambush tactics’, the EC says it has identified more errors than was previously announced. The PPP’s errors have shot up from one to 105, their lawyers have revealed.
The PNC has found to its shock that 4 errors are now 303 and the APC’s mistakes have jumped from two to 95 errors. Time is running out and some candidates have hinted they may be left with no choice than to go back to the Supreme Court.
The general election is 28 days away.
(L-R) Dr. Nduom, Edward Mahama, Hassan Ayariga, Nana Konadu, Akua Donkor were also disqualifed
[L-R] IPP candidate Kofi Akpaloo, GFP’s Akua Donkor and UPP’s Akwasi Addai Odike
Odike and others endure torturous wait for Charlotte Osei
Joy News Joseph Ackah-Blay reports that the premises of the Electoral Commission headquarters is calm. No imposing security presence or party supporters.
He found Presidential candidate United Freedom Party (UFP) Agyenim Boateng. He says he has been here since 7am but has been told to wait for the EC Chair. “They are telling me that unless Charlotte comes, unless madam comes” he told Joy News.
He has brought some subscribers to replace the others who endorsed his forms and have been found to have errors. But he fears he might go the way of his other colleagues who are battling huge jumps in mistakes to be corrected.
He dreads that the EC might point out some errors which he may not be able to correct because the deadline is inching closer by the minute.
Akwasi Odike in the middle
The UPP’s Akwasi Addai Odike is also seated. His situation is different. No mistake was identified on his form. He was given time to resolve the dispute in court before his nomination forms could be accepted.
He won’t confirm to the reporter whether he has done that but says he is waiting for his lawyer so they speak to the EC Chair.
A farmer and businesswoman Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party has reportedly come around to pick her nomination forms in order to make changes. She is the only candidate to immediately throw in the towel after the disqualification sweep was announced.
She declared her support for President John Mahama. But she is back to make corrections expected to allow her back into the race.
The UPP’s Akwasi Addai Odike gets his opportunity to meet Charlotte Osei. But he has just left looking unhappy. He had in his hand a form with some pages having a bookmark. He has declined to speak to our reporter and will not share the outcome of his interactions with the EC chairperson.
PPP takes turn
PPP Presidential candidate represented by the National party chairman Nii Hammond and Nduom’s sons –Nana Kweku Nduom and Cheify Nduom – have arrived at the EC office.
They also came in the company of their most valuable asset now – lawyer Nii Ayikoi Otoo who scored a victory over the EC in court over the disqualification of his client.
After less than an hour at the EC office, Ayikoi Otoo just exited from the EC’s office. He says they have taken off the list of 432 signatures, the endorsement of a voter Richard Aseda whom the EC has classified as an illegal voter because he registered more than once.
According to Ayikoi Otoo, the name Richard Aseda has been replaced with two other endorsements.
Ayikoi Otoo at the EC
Concerning the other ‘105 mistakes’ he says that was not in contention. In fact he says although the EC told him that these mistakes are issues which should bother the PPP, the opposition party believes otherwise.
As far as he is aware ,it was only one mistake they were to correct.
Outside the premises of the commission, scores of PPP supporters gathered to chant anti-Charlotte Osei slogans and pro-Nduom appelations.
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