EC sets up two teams to vet 2020 presidential aspirants

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Mrs Jean Mensa - Chairperson of the EC
Mrs Jean Mensa - Chairperson of the EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) has set up two vetting teams to scrutinize the nomination forms of all the presidential aspirants in the 2020 election.

They are the Technical and IT teams, which would be scrutinizing the forms to ensure that the aspirants meet the qualifications as set out in the law such as being over 40 years old and having satisfied all tax obligations among others.

The IT team for instance will check and verify whether candidates and supporters are indeed registered voters.

The teams are to operate within the confines of the law and not to exercise discretion. 

The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa made this known when she received the nomination forms of some aspirants on Tuesday and added that the teams have been tasked to be fair.

“As part of our efforts to ensure a transparent and fair and yet accountable process, the Commission has developed a criterion that enables candidates to be vetted along with benchmarks set up by law," she said.

"The template is also aimed at guiding our team which will be awarding marks after scrutinizing and reviewing each of the forms. It is important to know that the Commission has set up two teams,” she said.

Three aspirants - President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo from the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker, an independent aspirant being partnered by Jacob Osei Yeboah as running mate and Reverend Christian Kwabena Andrew from the Ghana Union Movement (GUM) filed their forms on Tuesday.

President Akufo-Addo filed his nomination in person at the EC headquarters before midday Tuesday accompanied by his Running Mate, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Other government appointees were also at the EC to support President Akufo-Addo.

That of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, former President John Dramani Mahama is expected to be filed on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

The General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia is expected to do that on behalf of Mr Mahama who is currently on the field campaigning.

Below is a copy of the address delivered by the EC chair


Good Morning Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates, Fellow Commissioners, Directors, Ladies and Gentlemen and our Friends from the Media.
This is the day the Lord has made, we rejoice and we are glad in it. We thank the good Lord for His mercies.

On behalf of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, I warmly welcome you to the Commission this morning

This morning we are gathered here to kick start one of the most important activities in the lead up to the December 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. Indeed without this activity, the Commission cannot run the Elections.

Here, I’m referring to Filing of Nomination by Presidential Candidates who are seeking to contest the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Election.
Regulation 7 of the CI 127 enjoins a Presidential Candidate to complete and sign four (4) copies of the Nomination Form.

Additionally the Forms are to be signed by no less than two (2) persons who are registered voters in the area of authority of each District Assembly.

The Presidential Candidate is required to also designate a person to serve as Vice President

Furthermore he or she is required to deliver the Forms to the Commission on the date prescribed by the Commission.

As part of the Commission’s efforts to ensure a transparent, credible, fair and yet accountable process, the Commission has developed a detailed Checklist that embodies the criteria to be satisfied by the Presidential Candidates as prescribed by law. The template will guide the scoring and awarding of marks by Teams established by the Commission to scrutinise and review each of the Nomination Forms submitted.

This year, the Commission has set up two (2) Teams which have been tasked to review all the Forms submitted. The technical team has been tasked to scrutinise the Forms submitted to ensure that Presidential Candidates meet the qualifications as set out in the law namely; the Presidential Candidate is at least forty (40) years of age, that he/she has satisfied all tax obligations, that he/she has nominated a Vice Presidential Candidate among others.

The second Team namely the IT Team has been charged with the responsibility of scrutinising all the Voter IDs of the Presidential Candidates and their supporters to verify whether the Candidates and their supporters are indeed registered Voters.

Both Teams have been provided adequate training and have been oriented to carry out their functions as prescribed by the law.

The guiding principle for both Teams is clear. They are to operate within the confines of the law. They are not to exercise discretion in the matter.

Above all, they have been tasked to be fair and yet firm in executing their duties.

We have no doubt that the process will be transparent, fair and peaceful.

Additionally, we are confident that the five (5)-day period provided for the filing process as opposed to the two (2) days provided in previous nomination processes, will allow enough time for Presidential Candidates to correct any errors identified in their Forms. We are confident that this will help eliminate the tension and rancour that characterised previous nomination processes.

I welcome you all warmly to the Electoral Commission of Ghana once again and thank you for coming personally to submit your Nomination Forms.

As Returning Officer of the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, I will now receive your Forms which will be subjected to vetting and scrutiny by our Teams.

I assure you that our Teams will go to the work on the Forms immediately. We will contact you in within the shortest possible time to inform you of the decisions arrived at.

Thank you very much.
May God bless our Homeland Ghana and make our Nation great and strong.

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