The Electoral Commission of Ghana sharply rejected accusations that its decision to disqualify presidential candidates from participating in the December 7 general election was politically motivated. The Electoral Commission disqualified 12 presidential candidates, including the former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, presidential candidate for the opposition National Democratic Party (NDP) – for failing to meet requirements it stipulated ahead of the September 30 deadline to file nomination documents. The electoral body says the presidential candidates who are qualified to participate in the elections include incumbent President John Dramani Mahama, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo from the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Jacob Osei Yeboah, an independent candidate.
In an interview with VOA, Eric Dzakpasu, spokesman for the electoral commission says the electoral body worked within the confines of the country’s electoral laws. He says accusations that the electoral commission disqualified some of the political candidates due to political considerations to benefit a particular group during the elections are unfortunate and regrettable.
“All these forms were scrutinized in line with the provisions of the law relative to the nomination of candidates, and inadequacies, omissions and irregularities were found on these forms,” said Dzakpasu. “For instance the presidential candidates are supposed to have two registered voters per each of the administrative districts subscribing to their candidature, and a subscriber cannot subscribe to more than one candidate. And here were cases where we had one subscriber subscribing to more than two, three or four of the candidates and on each form, forged different kinds of signatures.”