The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has marked the first Anniversary of the party’s ‘needless disqualification’ of the party from the 2016 Presidential elections.
On October 10, 2016, the Electoral Commission (EC), held a press conference to disqualify on spurious grounds 12 out of the total 17 aspirants who had submitted their nomination forms to be considered as presidential candidates for the 2016 Elections.
Only four presidential aspirants were then deemed as qualified to contest Election 2016, whilst the fifth candidate was granted a few days to sort out his pending court case.
And the PPP’s then flagbearer, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom was one of the persons who were disqualified from the race by the EC.
On the occasion of the first Anniversary of the disqualification, the leadership of the party met at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel to address the press and lament over the unfortunate action.
The party described the mood of the party after the disqualification from the polls.
“We were shocked, traumatized and dumbfounded at this political charade because, glaringly, she had not followed in accordance with the dictates of CI94 the procedures for nomination…,” the party said.
This move, the PPP said was never the best and hence promised its resolve to ensure the entrenchment of democracy in the country.
Below is the full release read at the press conference:
[17:35, 10/9/2017] Paa Kow – PPP: The audi alteram partem rule which requires that no person should be judged without a fair hearing was on October 10, 2016 over looked by the Electoral Commission of Ghana. On that fateful day, the Commission decided to throw the Law aside and proceeded to disqualify the PPP Presidential Candidate from the 2016 Presdential race. The action we believe, was to punish the PPP for protesting the 100% increment in filling fees of parliamentary candidate and 50% increment in that of the Presidential race.
It is important in a democracy to be heard before judgment and the line between personal feeling and the law is a thin one. We must not confuse dissent or criticism with dislike or hatred. We must remember always that an accusation is no proof in itself and passing judgment should be based on due process. Any dubious process other than the processes of law cannot be regarded as transparent.
The penchant by public officials in Ghana to abuse power in executing their mandate must be a thing of the past. The events leading to October 10th and its aftermath should be a wake-up call to all government officials to work within the law and not to antagonize any citizen based on tribe, party, religion or any prejudice. We are all subservient to the laws of our land and all must endeavor to adhere to the Constitution at all times.
As a country, we have resolved to accept democracy as our system of governance. We have resolved to tolerate each other’s opinions however distasteful they may be. These ideals are collective and no group of individuals can trample on them for personal or parochial interest. The Electoral Commission of Ghana cannot cow political parties into submission based on simple criticism. We will not walk in fear of the Electoral Commission into an age of unreasonability. Ghanaians did not descend from fearful men and women who fear to associate, speak or act.
The PPP therefore calls on all Ghanaians to say “Never Again” should we allow such occurrence in our democracy as it has the tendency to break or unmake it. As we mark this day, we call on the Electoral Commission to consider its ways and work for the benefit of Ghana.