The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has raised doubts on the ability of the Electoral Commission (EC) to successfully conduct Election 2016.
According to CODEO, the EC’s plans might be disrupted in view of the legal suits by the disqualified presidential aspirants of some of the political parties against the commission.
“The EC is working with a timetable, and looking at the legal suits filed against the EC by the presidential aspirants following their disqualification, the election process might delay,” the National Coordinator of CODEO, Mr Albert Kofi Arhin, said.
So far, one of the disqualified presidential aspirants has filed a law suit against the EC, while two others have threatened to do so to contest their disqualification from contesting the upcoming December 7, 2016 general election.
While lawyers for the presidential aspirant of the Progressive People’s Party’s (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, have dragged the EC to the court, seeking an order to prohibit the commission from placing only four presidential candidates on the ballot paper, the disqualified presidential nominees of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Mr Henry Herbert Lartey, and the National Democratic Party (NDP), Mrs Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, have declared their intention to sue the EC.
Mr Lartey announced at a press conference that he would file an injunction suit seeking to stop all electoral processes ahead of the December elections.
Nana Konadu has also demanded that the EC allow her to contest the 2016 polls as the presidential candidate of the NDP following what she describes as her “illegal” disqualification from the race.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Arhin said: “If the court case is stretched, it might affect the election process.”
He, however, noted that the EC could only meet its timelines “if the court expedites action on the legal suits that are being filed against the EC”.
On the other hand, he said, the parties could also decide to take their concerns to the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) for a solution.
“Otherwise the courts will have to come in quickly to settle the issue for the EC to work within the time frame,” he said.
Mr Arhin explained that the EC, after receiving the nominations, needed time to settle on the positions of the presidential candidates on the ballot paper which would be determined through a balloting process.
He urged all stakeholders to work towards a smooth electoral process, as the polls were about 50 days away.
The EC, after receiving the nominations of 17 presidential aspirants, later disqualified 12 of them, while the fate of one of them whose nomination was being contested by his party was yet to be decided.
The 12 presidential aspirants, according to the EC, were disqualified for alleged acts of fraud, negligence and irregularities discovered on their nomination forms.
The four whose nominations were accepted by the EC are President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party(NPP), Mr Ivor Greenstreet of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and an independent candidate, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah.
Since the disqualification, some of the disqualified presidential hopefuls have threatened legal action against the EC, while others have made good their word by suing the EC.