National executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) displayed snobbish attitude and disrespect towards the Electoral Commission (EC) as they filed presidential nomination forms for their candidate for the 2020 general election, John Dramani Mahama.
Instead of presenting their completed forms to the EC, NDC’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah turned his back to members of the Commission to address the media during which he blamed the country’s election management body for the party’s apparent failures.
EC Chairperson Mrs Jean Mensa and her deputies were kept in limbo for more than 15 minutes whilst the main opposition party’s General Secretary spoke to journalists in an arrogant tone.
Chronology of events
Two political parties, the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and the NDC, filed their presidential nominations for the 2020 elections on Wednesday October 7, 2020.
NDC was to have filed for their candidate at 11am.
However, a few minutes to 11am, the leading opposition party changed the time to 2 pm.
Again, at 2 pm, Mr Asiedu Nketiah and his NDC informed the Commission that they would be there at 4 pm but finally arrived at a quarter to 5pm.
When the NDC submitted their forms, they requested to speak in line with the EC’s outline for the receipt of nominations.
Even though previous leaders of political parties had all spoken on the transparency of the process and given useful feedback to the EC, Mr Asiedu Nketiah started his comments by blaming the Commission for their late submission of their forms. According to him, some of their supporters who signed their forms were called by the EC that they had duplicate cards and that new ID cards had been issued to them.
This, Mr Asiedu Nketiah claimed, caused the delays as they had to change the ID numbers of some of their signatories.
He also claimed that the assets declaration law quoted in the form was wrong and that the commission was receiving nominations based on a provisional register which was illegal.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah further accused the Commission of working with the government to rig the elections, using military personnel in the border areas.
Nonetheless, the NDC chief scribe stated that it did not matter what the Commission did, the NDC would not boycott the elections but that they would win polls.
When he finished, EC’s Deputy Chairman in Charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Eric Asare said it was misleading for the NDC to claim that the EC was using a repealed law.
He pointed out that C.I.127 mandated the EC to use a provisional register for the filing process.
The Deputy chair told Mr Asiedu Nketiah and his team that the CI was passed by the bipartisan parliament under the chairmanship of an NDC lawmaker.
He described as strange the accusation being levelled against the EC by the NDC since the four other aspirants, who had earlier filed their nomination, did not raise any issues with the process.
Dr Bossman reiterated the determination and resolve of the Commission to run a credible election based on integrity and transparency.
“I can assure all Ghanaians that the process and the conduct of the elections will be the best in the history of the country,” he added.
Just as the Deputy Commissioner was clarifying the issue to the NDC, the delegation staged a walkout while singing redemption songs.
He further stressed that none of the parties that had filed their nominations complained about the forms.
In the process of his explanation, Mr Asiedu Nketiah grabbed a microphone and started shouting that the EC had prepared a constitutional instrument with the purpose of undermining our matured democracy.
He burst into singing while the Deputy Chairman was speaking and shouted let’s go to his party members who accompanied him.