General News of Tuesday, 10 October 2017
The Progressive People’s Party has vowed to pursue and fight any attempts by the Electoral Commission to undermine them and deny them the opportunity to participate in any presidential and parliamentary race.
This comes on the back of the party’s disqualification by the Electoral Commission prior to the 2016 polls. It will be recalled that ahead of last year’s polls, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, disqualified Dr. Nduom and other flagbearers for failing to follow due process as regards the filling of forms.
However, the Party challenged the EC’s decision in court and the court subsequently ruled that Dr Nduom and the others be allowed to correct the errors on their forms to enable them to contest in the elections.
Following that order, the PPP flag bearer and some of the other disqualified candidates were allowed to correct the errors to enable them to contest in the elections.
The Progressive People’s Party on Tuesday, October 10, held a press briefing in Accra to remember the incident and make plans in that regard.
Recounting past events, Chairman for the PPP, Dr. Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond labeled last year’s election period as their ‘’darkest days’’ adding that the Electoral Commission caused them what he described as ‘’ reputational damage’’.
“Today, we mark one of the darkest days in our journey within a hoped-for democratic dispensation. The purpose of this press conference is not to remind ourselves of the pain, the stress, the disappointment, the collateral reputational damage etc., but to make an oath to ourselves and resolve that NEVER AGAIN should we, the people of Ghana, allow a despotic public officer to determine at his or her own behest which bonafide citizens should or should not, within the provisions of the 1992 constitution, participate in our democratic forward march.” He added.
Addressing the press, he said they underestimated the actions of the Electoral Commissioner, Madam Charlotte Osei, adding that she was involved in an arranged, diabolic and hideous scheme carefully planned to scuttle the efforts of the PPP and its flag bearer.
He also maintained that the EC Chair did not abide by the dictates of the CI94 procedures of nomination.
“Apparently, we were naïve enough to have underestimated the actions of the EC as a mere gloss over of its own administrative procedures. As it turned out, little did we know that the EC Chairperson was involved in an orchestrated, diabolic scheme to scuttle the efforts of the PPP and its flagbearer.
We were shocked, traumatized and dumbfounded at this political charade because, glaringly, she had not followed the dictates of CI94, the procedures for nomination.
As a law-abiding party, we sought audience with the EC to give opportunity to resolve any misunderstandings that might have informed their decision to disqualify the PPP presidential candidate,’’ he stated
In the statement read by Dr. Allotey, the EC Chair was accused of making false declarations on the nomination forms which mounted to criminal offenses and perjury.
‘’Mrs. Charlotte Osei gleefully and confusingly pointed out that, making a false declaration in a statutory declaration and on forms for office amounted not only to criminal offenses but also to perjury. She found it necessary and important to point out that in law a simple tick did not satisfy requirements of the law.”
Recounting effects the disqualification of their presidential candidate had on the party, Chairman Allotey revealed that some party members lost respect in their constituencies as a result of the criminal tag attached to the case. He also said that the monies spent on legal fees could have been used to support targeted constituencies.
‘…whilst the Progressive People’s Party was battling its disqualification case at the law courts, the other favoured political parties were busily campaigning and canvassing for votes.
Many of our party members lost respect in their constituencies as a result of the criminal attachment to the case. This also led to emotional exhaustion, low levels of morale creating absenteeism, lack of motivation and interest in the election battle for the peoples’ hearts and minds. Party members were thoroughly demoralized as a result of the EC’s wrongful accusations.
We cannot forget the amount of money that was spent on legal fees. Money that we could have used very usefully have been employed to support some of our targeted constituencies,’’ he added.