The Electoral Commission (EC) says it will not be able to supervise the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) presidential and parliamentary primaries this Saturday until the determination of an injunction on the elections.
This is to avoid being cited for contempt, the Commission told leadership of the NDC at a meeting in Accra on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
Mrs Jean Mensa, the EC Chairperson, said the Commission had held several meetings with Elections Committee of the NDC to discuss modalities of the primaries and that a set of guidelines was agreed on.
She said key among the requirements was that the register to govern the elections be made available to the contesting parties by the Elections Committee of the NDC at least seven days before the conduct of the elections.
The EC Chair said earlier in the week, the Commission received a letter from the Kwabena Duffuor Campaign Team alleging various errors and anomalies with the register.
“It was based on this, that the Commission felt it necessary to meet with the Elections Committee of the NDC as well as the representatives of the presidential aspirants to deliberate on this matter and agree on a way forward,” Mrs Mensa said.
However, she said, on Tuesday, the Commission was served with an application for interlocutory injunction seeking to restrain the Commission from supervising the conduct of the presidential and parliamentary primaries due to the alleged anomalies with the register.
“Gentlemen, in order that we are not cited for contempt, the Commission has taken the decision not to supervise the conduct of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections until after the determination of the case by the court.
“We thought we should bring this to your attention.
“All the Representatives present expressed agreement with the position of the Commission” the EC Chairperson stated.
EC and NDC meeting
Mrs. Mensa and her two Deputies, Mr. Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairman, Operations, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare, Deputy Chairman, Corporate Services met with the leadership of NDC and representatives of the Presidential Aspirants of the NDC on Wednesday, May 10, May 2023. The meeting was held at the Offices of the Commission.
The meeting which was attended by Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, representing the NDC, Dr. Peter Otokunor representing Mr. John Dramani Mahama, Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo representing Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and Mr. Mohammed Alhassan representing Mr. Kojo Bonsu was cordial and successful.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has commenced consultations with the Party elders to find solution to the court injunction filed against its presidential and parliamentary primaries by one of the aspirants, Dr Duffuor.
Mustapha Gbandi, a Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, said as a law-abiding political party, it would comply with the orders and processes of the court.
However, he said, to ensure quick resolution of the impasse, the leadership had commenced consultations with the elders of the Party to find a way forward.
“This is an internal contest so, we believe that whatever the grievances, some solutions can always be proffered. And so, we are currently in consultations with elders of the Party to see how to get the issues resolved and then we can move on,” he said.
Mr Gbandi indicated that, already, about 80% of data required by aspirants for the elections had been given to all of them, adding that, the Party was in the process of furnishing them with the remaining 20%.
He, however, noted that, per the election regulations, aspirants were only entitled to delegates list, which the Party had made available to them and not photo albums.
“They took delivery of these documents one and a half months ago; they have never come up with any challenges expect the photo album which is a complementary exercise to further strengthen the system. And so, even if for some reason we will not be able to carry out the photo album, the delegates list has been discharged in accordance with law and process,” he added.
He said the Party “will still go ahead and deliver to them the full complement of the photo albums but mind you that, the photo album is not a document stated in the election regulation.”
The Deputy General Secretary implored aspirants to continue with their campaign activities, while urging members of the Party, particularly delegates to remain calm as leadership continued to work to resolve the matter.
“We must remain calm. Campaigns must continue, we must finish hard but, we must remain active within the principles of the Party, within a defined boundaries of individual actions and all of that.
“So, we must take into consideration that in everything the Party is paramount and the interest of the Party supersedes any other interests,” Mr Gbandi urged.