16th July 2024

File photo: A Ghanaian voter cast vote in an election

The Electoral Commission of Ghana has responded to the recent statement made by the National Communication Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, addressing the issue of eligibility of a qualified NPP Parliamentary aspirant in the upcoming Assin North by-election.

The Electoral Commission reiterates its position, as stated in the previous response, that according to Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution, a person qualifies to contest as a parliamentary candidate if they are a registered voter, at least 21 years old, and either hail from or have resided in the constituency for a total of five (5) years within the last ten (10) years preceding the election. This constitutional provision forms the basis for determining eligibility for parliamentary candidates in Ghana.

The NDC’s National Communication Officer argues that the Electoral Commission should have also considered CI 127, particularly the Nomination Form, in addition to the Constitution. He claims that the phrase “of the same Constituency” on the Nomination Form implies that a candidate must be a registered voter in the constituency they intend to contest.

However, the Electoral Commission refutes this argument, clarifying that the phrase refers to the registered voters who are nominating a candidate, not the candidate themselves.

The Commission emphasizes that the candidate only needs to hail from or reside in the constituency to qualify for contesting. Interpreting the phrase on the Nomination Form to mean that the candidate must be a registered voter in the same constituency would be unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Inconsistency

The Electoral Commission also questions the NDC’s inconsistency, highlighting the case of their candidate in the recent Kumawu by-election, Mr. Kwasi Amankwaa, who was not a registered voter in the Kumawu Constituency but contested based on his residency and hometown. The NDC did not raise any objections regarding his eligibility during that election.

The Electoral Commission categorically denies the allegation made by the NDC’s National Communication Officer, stating that it is false and unfounded. The Commission calls on Sammy Gyamfi to provide evidence to support his claims, as the NDC has a history of making baseless allegations that aim to undermine the integrity of the Electoral Commission.

Focus on campaign 

The Commission reaffirms its commitment to transparency, peaceful, and credible elections, urging Sammy Gyamfi and the NDC to focus on their campaign activities rather than targeting the Electoral Commission. “Ghana’s democracy has matured, and it is important for all parties to engage in discussions based on maturity, decorum, and truth,” it said.

The Electoral Commission will continue to fulfill its constitutional mandate and provide the public with accurate information while upholding the principles of transparency and fairness in the electoral process.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *