The Electoral Commission (EC) has filed a suit at the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the desision of a High Court nullifying their disqualification of the flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, last Friday.
According to the EC the decision to seek the apex court’s intervention was taken in the interest of public policy and credibility of the electoral process.
“In the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, the Commission has today [Monday, October 31, 2016] filed an application at the Supreme Court to quash the High Court decision and seek clarity on the relevant aspects of the law on candidate nominations,” a statement signed by Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, Head of Communication at the EC said.
The commission said it believes in the overall national interest and on the grounds of public policy that the Supreme Court provides clarity on the matter.
“A judgment from the Apex Court would effectively bring finality to the issue once and for all.”
The 13 candidates, including Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party, Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention and Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP) were disqualified after the EC noted various errors in the nomination forms they filed.
However, Dr. Nduom’s chances of appearing on the ballot were raised on Friday after an Accra High Court ordered the EC to allow him to amend the errors on his forms and resubmit them for consideration by the EC.
The NDP and PNC also have separate cases in court against the EC seeking the reinstatement of their candidates in the race.
Below is the EC’s full statment
REVIEW OF HIGH COURT DECISION
The Electoral Commission has completed a review of the judgment of the High Court, Accra dated 28th October, 2016 in the case of the Republic v Mrs. Charlotte Osei & Electoral Commission; Ex parte Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, numbered GT1401/2016. Having carefully studied the contents of the judgment, we respectfully disagree with the High Court judge’s decision on several essential legal and public policy grounds.
The Commission is of the firm conviction backed by the law, that candidates seeking the highest office of the land, must take full responsibility for ensuring that their nomination forms meet the standard in form and substance, required by the law.
The Commission is further of the view that falsified signatures on nomination forms constitute a matter for criminal investigation and are not mere anomalies or clerical errors, which should be pointed out to candidates for corrections to be effected.
The Commission believes that, as in other jurisdictions, presidential candidates must ensure the accuracy of the information on documents which they present under oath to public institutions. Failure to place this burden on the shoulders of the candidates, has serious implications for our democratic growth and electoral justice.
In the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, the Commission has today filed an application at the Supreme Court to quash the High Court decision and seek clarity on the relevant aspects of the law on candidate nominations.
We believe it is in the overall national interest and on the grounds of public policy that the Supreme Court provides clarity on this matter. A judgment from the Apex Court would effectively bring finality to the issue once and for all.
In the interest of national peace and cohesion, we respectfully implore the Highest Court of the land to determine our application expeditiously in accordance with the earlier directive of Her Ladyship the Chief Justice and for the sake of the electoral calendar.
Eric Kofi Dzakpasu
Head of Communications