The Electoral Commission (EC) has cleared 12 presidential aspirants to contest this year’s election, scheduled for December 7.
It, however, disqualified five aspirants for breaching aspects of the nomination process, for which they have been referred to the police for prosecution on the grounds of forgery.
Of the 12 qualified candidates, 11 are sponsored by political parties, while one is an independent candidate.
The EC Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, who announced the outcome of the filing of nomination exercise at the EC Headquarters yesterday, said the commission extensively scrutinised the nomination forms of the aspirants to ensure that they satisfied all the requirements outlined by law to qualify as a candidate.
The qualified candidates are President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr Kofi Akpaloo of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Ms Brigitte Dzogbenuku of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP).
The rest are Madam Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Mr Christian Kwabena Andrews of the Ghana Union Movement (GUM), Mr Asiedu Walker, an independent candidate; Mr Hassan Ayariga of the All People’s Congress (APC), Mr David Apasera of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and Mr Henry Herbert Lartey of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).
Meanwhile, the disqualified candidates who could face prosecution, according to the EC, are Mr Kwesi Busumbru of the People’s Action Party (PAP), Mr Agyenim Boateng of the United Front Party (UFP), Mr Akwasi Addai Odike of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr Kofi Gane and Mr Kofi Koranteng, both independent aspirants.
According to Mrs Mensa, the disqualified candidates would receive a refund of their GH¢100,000 filing fees.
“To the aspiring presidential candidates who did not make this process, we wish you better luck next time. Your filing fees of GH¢100,000 will be refunded to you,” she said.
Touching on the credibility of the electoral process which had come under intense scrutiny by the NDC, Mrs Mensa said the EC had no control to rig the process.
She said the commission had, over the period, been transparent in all its activities to ensure that the public trusted the electoral process.
“The transparency of our processes should give confidence to the citizenry that the EC cannot rig an election. Right from registration to the election day, our political parties police and monitor all our processes,” she said.
She called on stakeholders who had genuine concerns about the electoral process to raise them in the full glare of the public.
“Once we are informed about the weaknesses and gaps in the process outlined, we will take immediate steps to address them, close all the gaps and report same to the public in a transparent, open and accountable manner,” she said.
Until such a report was made, she said, “we entreat the naysayers to cease their onslaught of trying to discredit a thorough and credible electoral process and a commission which has been open and transparent in all its dealings,” she said.
Mrs Mensa also called on the public to support the work of the commission to help strengthen and uphold the integrity of the electoral process.
“As we head towards 7th December, we urge all of you distinguished citizens to work with us to strengthen and uphold the integrity of our systems and the commission as a whole. Our doors remain open,” she said.
Reacting to his disqualification, Mr Odike expressed shock at the EC decision.
“It is preposterous for the EC to say I am not qualified,” he told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
According to him, he went through all the processes required without any blemish and, therefore, suspected some underhand dealings in his disqualification.
Mr Odike said he would use all available legal means to restore his image and credibility.
“I have consulted my lawyer and he has advised me to go to the EC to secure the written reasons for my disqualification and we will take it from there,” he said.
For his part, Mr Gane said he had not been informed of his disqualification when the Daily Graphic reached out to him for a reaction about 5.30 p.m. yesterday.