Cape Coast, Feb. 19, GNA – A total of twenty-three candidates out of 1,857 who filed their nominations to contest the upcoming District Level Elections (DLE) in the Central Region have withdrawn their nominations.
Mrs. Philomena Edusei, the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), who revealed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Cape Coast, on Thursday, said eight of the candidates were from Assin North District, five from Cape Coast, two from Gomoa West and Assin South whilst Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA), Mfantseman and Agona West had one candidate each, all of them males.
The Regional Director, who expressed her worry about the situation, said it would be a huge cost to the country, noting that, though candidates had the right to pull out of the elections even at the eleventh hour, she believes the process was being abused by some candidates since there was no fee charged for filling their nominations.
‘I believe the framers of the law did not place any charges on the filling of nominations because the idea was to encourage grass root participation at the local level but now I think it is being abused ‘she lamented.
Mrs. Edusei was however optimistic that with time Ghana’s democracy would mature to employ reforms that would make candidates either pay for the filling of their nominations or restrict them from withdrawing after they had filed their nominations.
She explained that because some of the withdrawals came late, the candidates’ names and photos would appear on the ballot papers but any vote cast for them would not be counted.
The Regional Director called on the media to intensify its reportage on the DLE and provide the needed education to candidates to know the implications of their actions when they withdraw too late.
She charged candidates to desist from campaigning on the ticket of any political party, adding that, the commission would not hesitate to disqualify any candidate who is found culpable.
In all, 1,857 candidates are contesting DLE in the Central Region made up of 1,766 males and 96 females whiles nine electoral areas went unopposed.
The Central Region has a total of 572 electoral areas.
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