IPP Takes EC To Court For Disqualifying Flag Bearer

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Independent People’s Party (IPP), one of the political parties disqualified by the Electoral Commission (EC) from taking part in the December polls because of irregularities in their nomination forms, has gone to court to seek an order to compel the EC to register Mr Kofi Akpaloo as its presidential candidat Baring any last minute hitch, the Accra Fast Track High Court will this morning hear an application for an order of mandamus directed at the EC to register the IPP’s presidential candidate to take part in the December polls.

As of press time yesterday, the EC had not filed any affidavit in opposition. The motion was filed by Mr Richard Laapo, an Accra-based lawyer with Puoizong and Associates.

An affidavit accompanying the application and deposed to by Mr Kofi Apkaloo, said on March 30, this year, the IPP was legally registered with the EC as a political party with the aim of contesting the December presidential and parliamentary elections.

It said that the IPP diligently fulfilled all the requirements and conditions set out by the EC for a political party to be duly registered with the EC and that upon the presentation of Kofi Akpaloo’s presidential nomination forms for registration to enable him participate in the elections, same was rejected.

The IPP said the sole ground cited by the EC for its refusal to register its presidential candidate was that certain portions of the nomination forms had either not been signed or thumbprinted.

It said that the said presidential forms were thoroughly completed and meticulously signed and or marked as directed by the EC.

According to the IPP, the directive to have the said forms marked is vague and ambiguous save the signature and cannot have been cited as the ground by the EC to fail, neglect or refuse to accept the party’s forms to contest in the upcoming elections.

It said the blatant refusal of the EC to accept the forms was arbitrary, unreasonable and a violation of the 1992 Constitution that enjoined public officials to act fairly and reasonably in the discharge of their official functions.

The rejection or refusal of the IPP’s forms, the party said, was capricious exercise of discretionary power and it was a proper case for the court to compel the EC to register the party’s presidential candidate to contest the December general election.

Story: Stephen Sah