General News of Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Adansi Asokwa Member of Parliament K.T. Hammond has accused the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan of “sheer arrogance.”
The former deputy energy minister told Starr News’ Ibrahim Alhassan in an interview after Parliament’s sitting on Tuesday that he hopes Dr Afari Gyan’s arrogance will not make him snub Parliament on Thursday.
The Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho extended an invitation to the EC Chair Tuesday following demands by some MPs that he must be hauled before the House to answer questions over the recently botched district assembly elections.
The local elections were supposed to have come off March 3, but had to be suspended after the Supreme Court ruled that processes toward the polls were flawed, per an application filed by a fisherman who was disqualified by the Electoral Commission from contesting.
The 7-member panel of Justices on Friday February 27, 2015, in a unanimous decision said the elections were unconstitutional.
“Who is he? If the Speaker has sent an invitation to him to attend Parliament, he has no choice, he would attend…There is so much arrogance about him…”
The Electoral Commission has started making preparations for fresh nominations to be opened for the polls.
“In view of the Supreme Court ruling ordering that the District Level Elections processes should be conducted afresh, we wish to inform the general public that in total compliance with the said ruling, the Electoral Commission will prepare a new legislation to be passed by Parliament before fresh nominations are taken for the elections,” a statement issued Monday and signed by Deputy Chairman in charge of operations, Amadu Sulley said.
Benjamin Eyi Mensah, who wanted to stand for the Eyipeh Electoral Area within the Effutu District of the Central Region, dragged the Electoral Commission to the apex Court over the election body’s refusal to register him as an aspirant for the District Assembly and Unit Committee Elections which had been slated for March 3, 2015.
His disqualification was premised on late submission of his nomination forms. Mr Mensah was represented in the case by the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Mr Alex Afenyo-Markin.
According to him, all attempts to have had the EC register his client for the local elections met opposition thus his decision to resort to the Court for redress.
The District Electoral Officer and the Returning Officer reportedly refused to accept Mr Mensah’s forms when he submitted them on Monday December 22, 2014, just a day after the filing of nominations closed.
Mr Mensah’s Lawyer, in a letter written to the EC, said the Commission’s decision to open and close nominations at the said date was inconsistent with, and in contravention of Article 45(b) and 51 of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Afenyo-Markin further stated that the EC’s decision was “not fortified by law.”
In his writ of summon, Mr Mensah prayed the highest Court of the land to “order the Electoral Commission to [re] open nominations to enable the Plaintiff and other law abiding citizens…to file their nomination forms to participate in the upcoming District Assembly Elections.” His prayer was granted.