NDC refers injunction to lawyers, hopeful it won’t affect election of its flag bearer
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the injunction placed on its presidential primary may not affect the election as the party has taken steps to resolve the issues before January 26, 2019.
It said the writ of summons which triggered the granting of the injunction last Tuesday has been forwarded to the party’s lawyers for the necessary action to be taken on the case brought by two party members.
James Kabu Nartey and Abdallah Issah sued the NDC last Tuesday and applied for injunction ahead of the hearing of the substantive case in which they are challenging the legality of the rules and guidelines covering the NDC presidential primary.
They are challenging, among others, sections of the guidelines which require that one has to be a member of the party for 10 years before he or she can contest to lead the NDC as presidential candidate, as well as the initial GH¢400,000 filing fee for aspirants.
The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Peter Boamah Otokunor, confirmed to the media on Wednesday that the party had been served with the court documents and same had since been forwarded to their legal team for advice.
“We have given it [writ of summons] to our lawyers for them to take action and it may not change anything,” he said.
Mr Otokunor said the lawyers were well versed in law, hence the party did not foresee a distraction of the timetable due to the injunction.
Eight of the flag bearer hopefuls had raised concerns about the GH¢400,000 filing fee announced by the party for the presidential primary and consequently petitioned the NDC Council of Elders on the matter.
The eight: Alban S.K. Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrisu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava had described the fee as unreasonable.
“We oppose these fees on the grounds that they call the party’s fundamental commitment to social democracy into question,” they stated, adding “…these fees are entirely out of line with the party’s own historical practice”.
They have accordingly proposed GH¢5,000 for the nomination forms and additional GH¢150,000 as filing fees.
They also want to be given six weeks to complete their nomination forms, and move the presidential primary from the scheduled January 19, 2019 to March 2019.
The petitioners alleged the NEC failed to meet the procedural requirements in the party’s constitution in publishing the guidelines for the presidential primary.
They claim the NEC exceeded its powers by imposing additional eligibility criteria on candidates or aspirants, and also demonstrated elements of bias in favour of an aspirant they did not name in the petition.