The Electoral Commission has called the bluff of former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDP), whose lawyers have threatened a court action against the election management body if their client, who has been disqualified from the 2016 presidential race, is not reinstated.
In a response to a letter from the NDP’s lawyers, the EC’s lawyers, Sory@Law said: “Our reading of the rules regulating the presidential elections confirms that the submission of nomination papers for the purpose of contesting the presidential elections confirms that the submission of the forms does not result in the automatic acceptance of such forms by our client.
“Having taken that decision as required by regulation 9(4) of C.I 94 which spells out the procedure for dealing with the matter, our client finds no legal basis to rescind its decision especially that the statutory provisions upon which your letter is grounded do not allow our client such discretion.
“We do not doubt your clients’ resolve to pursue their cause to the ends afforded her by the law but we trust that your client will, as dutiful citizens of the Republic of Ghana, support our client’s constitutional mandate and efforts to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
“The smooth sailing process of our democratic evolution should be our mutual concern as well as primary and collective responsibility.”
This is the second time Mrs Rawlings has been disqualified from the race. The first time was in 2012 by Mrs Osei’s predecessor, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan.
Apart from Mrs Rawlings, 12 others have also been disqualified over various anomalies. The others include the flag bearers of the All People’s Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga; Dr Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC); Dr Agyenim Boateng of the United Front Party (UFP); Kofi Akpaloo of the Independent People’s Party (IPP); Kwabena Adjei of the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD); and Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).
The others include: Dr Henry Herbert Lartey of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP); Mr Richard Nixon Tetteh (United Development Systems Party); Thomas Ward-Brew of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP); Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker, an independent candidate, and Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP). Mr Akwasi Addae Odike of the United Progressive Party’s nomination is on hold pending a court case.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Mrs Rawlings accused the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, of illegally disqualifying her and demanded that her name be immediately put back on the list of nominees for the December 7 polls.
“I want my name back on the list that I am standing as the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Party (NDP) and she (Chair of the Electoral Commission) has illegally removed my name from it,” Mrs Rawlings told the BBC’s Akwasi Sarpong in an interview on Wednesday, 12 October.
“She (Mrs Charlotte Osei) should do what is right and legal in this country,” she said, adding: “The Electoral Commission’s equipment and setup [are] bogus.”
Mrs Rawlings said the EC was to blame for her disqualification. “It is completely the Electoral Commission’s fault because the EC has violated section 9 of CI 94, which obligates her to actually ask us to come and check our forms if she finds anything wrong with it. If there’s an anomaly, it’s her responsibility to call us,” she said.