Three more flag bearer aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) tuesday filed their nominations to contest the presidential primary of the party slated for January 26, 2019.They are Mr Nurideen Iddrisu, Mr Augustus Goosie Tanoh and Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.
This brings to seven, the number of persons who have so far filed their nominations to contest the primary.
Former President John Dramani Mahama, Professor Joshua Alabi, Mr Alban Bagbin and Mr Sylvester Mensah successfully filed theirs on Monday.
Mr Stephen Atubiga, who was also expected to file his nomination to bring the number to eight, came to the party headquarters yesterday, albeit for a different reason.
While the National Chairman, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, and other executive members as well as the media were expectant of Mr Atubiga presenting his nomination forms, he, instead, presented a letter addressed to the General Secretary of the party.
The General Secretary, Mr Asiedu Nketia, then proceeded to read the letter which stated that he (Atubiga) had decided to withdraw from the race and given his support to former President Mahama.
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Also, Mr Spio-Garbrah, one of the aspirants, who had championed the call for the reduction of the filing fee from GH¢300,000 to GH¢150,000, surprised the gathering when he paid GH¢5,000 in excess of the filing fee thus paying GH¢305,000.
Explaining the rationale, Mr Garbrah said the fact that he was for a reduction in the filing fee was not an admission of his inability to raise the said amount but insisted that he was against the practice of monetising the process.
According to him, in other jurisdictions, persons desirous of contesting election at the presidential level paid nothing by way of filing fee, while in other places, they only paid a token.
Mr Iddrisu told journalists he was filing his nomination to demonstrate his readiness to compete, willingness to serve and readiness to change the fortunes of his party and the country at large.
He brought with him the signed nomination forms and the GH¢300,000 filing fee which had been the subject of controversy within the party with some of the aspirants demanding a further reduction despite a decision by the party’s Council of Elders to reduce the fees by GH¢100,000.
The party’s National Executive Committee had announced a GH¢400,000 as the initial filing fee but eight of the flag bearer aspirants resisted the amount and petitioned the party’s Council of Elders to intervene.
At least two of the candidates namely, Mr Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbamava,who petitioned the Council of Elders, have all withdrawn from the race but Mr Iddrisu said his chances of leading the party to victory in the 2020 elections were even clearer than he imagined.
Appeal to the masses
Mr Goosie Tanoh, in his remarks, after presenting his documents, said the NDC was unique in that it was the only party that appealed to the masses of the people.
According to him, the party lost the elections in 2016 because it lost touch with the masses.
In his opinion, if the party was able to undertake the presidential elections in a transparent, fair and open manner, the winner would be a definite outcome of the desires and choices of the grass root people.
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When that happened, he said, such a candidate would have a mass appeal to the ordinary Ghanaian because he would have been elected based on the desires of the ordinary person.
Mr Spio-Garbrah, for his part, said he contested the presidential primary of the party in 2006 and lost to the late President John Atta Mills but he had remained faithful to the party and served in different capacities to date.
He was, therefore, of the conviction that his faithfulness and commitment to the party in addition to his personal sterling qualities, placed him as the most ideal individual to lead the party to victory in 2020.
The Chairman of the NDC, Mr Ofosu-Ampofo, assured all the aspirants who came to present their forms that the electoral process would be transparent and fair.
He said as much as practicable, the party would create a level playing field for all candidates towards ensuring that whoever carried the day would be a true reflection of the hopes and aspirations of the delegates to lead the party into victory in 2020.
The General Secretary of the party, Mr Asiedu Nketia, said in order to exhibit transparency, all the aspirants should ensure that they had their representatives present during the printing of the ballot papers, its transportation to the regional offices and their final despatch to the various constituencies.
Also, he urged that during the voting day, their representatives should be at the polling centres to observe the proceedings till the votes were collated and announced.
He said the leadership of the party would always operate an open-door policy and that anyone who would, at any point in time, have any issues was at liberty to approach the leadership for the necessary action to be taken.
An Accra High Court has placed an interim injunction on the upcoming election by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) aimed at selecting a flag bearer for Election 2020.
The interim injunction followed the filing of a suit by two members of the NDC in Accra, who are claiming that the guidelines for the conduct of the election, which has been introduced by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, were against the September 1992 Constitution of the NDC.