The National Democratic Congress says the Electoral Commission’s response to their statement on an alleged illegal plot to smuggle the name of an NPP parliamentary aspirant into the Assin North voters’ register is defective in logic and betrays the Commission’s appreciation of their own criteria and elementary English language.
According to the NDC, the EC’s defence of the eligibility of one Charles Opoku to contest in the upcoming Assin North by-election reeks of bias and has clouded their judgement and interpretation of CI 127 as contained in the EC’s document.
CI 127, which contains the EC’s nomination form states that: “We the undersigned registered voters in ………………… Constituency does hereby nominate…………. ‘of the same Constituency’ to stand for election as a Member of Parliament, and we hereby certify that to the best of our knowledge, he/she is qualified to be elected as such.”
The EC argues that the provision above “only requires those nominating a candidate for a parliamentary election in a Constituency to be registered voters in the same Constituency, and not the candidate who is being nominated to contest. The candidate is only required to hail from or reside in the Constituency to qualify to contest in that Constituency.”
However, the NDC is convinced this is a deliberate misinterpretation of the document.
“It should be obvious to any educated mind, that the phrase “of the same Constituency” contained in Part 1 of the EC’s own nomination form for the Assin North by-election, refers to the Candidate who is being nominated (proposed, seconded and endorsed) and not the nominees,” they argue.
“It is pathetic that the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission has allowed their palpable bias to cloud their judgement and interpretation of this simple provision contained in their own document. Anyone who has a basic understanding of the English language must appreciate the fact that the phrase: “of the same constituency”, refers to the Candidate being nominated. Simply put, the provision requires persons nominating a Parliamentary Candidate to be “of the same constituency” as the Candidate,” the NDC emphasized.
The EC in their response to the NDC had also revealed that the NDC’s Kwesi Amankwaa was not a registered voter in the Kumawu constituency where he had been fielded by the NDC to contest the Kumawu parliamentary seat in the just-ended by-election.
However, responding to the claim, the NDC said the Commission’s attempts to equalize and rationalize their illegal conduct by citing similar instances in previous elections is hogwash, to say the least.
“It is trite that estoppel cannot negate illegality. A multitude of illegalities cannot constitute legality. The fact that the EC failed and/or neglected to do the right thing in times past does not mean they should be allowed to perpetuate such wrongs.”
The NDC says it will continue to resist “any attempt by the EC to smuggle the name of the NPP’s parliamentary aspirant, Charles Opoku into the Assin North by-election. The good people of Assin North deserve to know that the said aspirant is not a voter in the Assin North Constituency.”
Source: Cornerlis Kweku Affre