Resign! Martin Amidu tells EC boss

Mrs Charlotte Osei should have resigned as Chair of the Electoral Commission for disqualifying some presidential aspirants without due process, former Attorney General Martin Amidu has said.

“Instead of rushing to disqualify them [the aspirants] contrary to the due process of law (particularly the right to alter or amend as provided by law and natural justice) and gloating on her competence in the unlawful application of C.I. 94 she should have resigned for failing in her functions to educate the aspirants for the complex nomination electoral process and its purpose,” Mr Amidu said in a statement.

“It is demonstrable failure and an indictment on the competence of the Commissioner that only 4 of her class of 17 political parties and independent aspiring presidential candidates were able to understand and complete the nomination forms without error and to submit them at her own appointed time of 29th and 30th September 2016,” Mr Amidu added.

The EC disqualified 12 aspirants and put one other nominee’s nomination on hold pending a court ruling. One of the disqualified aspirants, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) sued the EC and the court ordered the election management body to have him correct errors on his forms so he could be part of the race. The All People’s Congress also sued the EC and that case will be determined on Monday, 31 October.

According to Mr Amidu, the court ruling on Dr Nduom’s case did not come as a surprise to him because the EC had failed to properly apply the provisions of C.I 94, resulting in the ‘illegal’ disqualification of the 13 aspirants.

“A casual reading of the reasons provided by the Commissioner in that document leaves an ordinary reasonable person with the conclusion that the decision to disqualify each of the presidential candidates was premised upon an alleged non-compliance with regulation 7 of the Public Elections Regulation, 2016 (C.I. 94). One walks away with the cogent and credible impression that the Commissioner purportedly acted in pursuance of an alleged power of disqualification vested in her under regulation 9(2) and (3) of C.I. 94.

“But even a fleeting perusal of regulation 9 of C.I. 94 should have left any lazy reader with a firm conviction that the Commissioner had no legal authority to invalidate the nomination of an aspiring candidate for president without first giving the candidate the opportunity to alter or amend his or her improperly completed nomination forms. Unfortunately, the common sense objections of the various aspiring candidates to their disqualification in violation of regulation 9(2) of C.I. 94 were met with insolent language bordering on insults and impunity demonstrating the perceived omnipotence and infallibility of the Commissioner in making her decisions,” he argued.

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