The leader of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has advised Ghanaians not to take the rule of law for granted.
He warned that we would have social problems and the consequences of the nation would be dire.
Speaking to coincide with October 10, the day the Electoral Commission(EC) disqualified the Presidential candidate of the PPP, Dr Nduom stated that “all of us must ensure that institutions that are independent such as EC remain as such and focus.
The EC in 2016 disqualified 13 out of the 17 presidential hopefuls who filed to run for the election.
Among the disqualified candidates were two-time aspirant and businessman, Dr Nduom, and the former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.
The Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei announced at a news conference that those disqualified failed to meet the necessary requirements in filing their nomination forms.
Different reasons were given for the disqualification of each aspirant including incomplete details on their forms, failure to meet legal requirements during the filing process and failure to pay the required fee within the stipulated time (not later than 12 noon on Monday, October 10, 2016).
Others were disqualified because they were fraudulently endorsed by unqualified subscribers and the EC said it would “refer the matter of the possible forgeries to the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General for investigation and prosecution.”
Mr John Dramani Mahama qualified to run for the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) including the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) candidate Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet and an independent presidential candidate Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah.
“Today, October 10, the PPP is concerned and personally Dr Nduom is concerned because the day has come to mean a significant day of discomfort where an attempt was made to derail democratic dispensation in Ghana,’’Dr Nduom declared.
Dr Nduom still believed that the act did not happen randomly.
In his view, it was a planned attempt to reduce the contestants to the NPP and NDC.
‘’For me, it was the day the EC lost its independence and an opportunity to become a strong national institution,” he stressed.
He, therefore, warned those people who wanted a two-party state in Ghana to be careful.
He stressed the need for Ghanaians to have room for alternative views of governance.
Political parties law
Dr Nduom explained that the Political Parties Law mandated EC not just for election purpose but to seek to help the electorate of this right was on the wrong side of the law.
He noted that anyone who attempted to deny the electorate of this right was on the wrong side of the law.
He accused the EC of bending the rules to favour some political parties.
“When have they exercised their mandate? They do not follow the rules fairly,” he declared.
Dr Nduom said the EC had always disregarded their mandate and one day they woke up and decided to disqualify candidates due to frivolous considerations.
According to Dr Nduom, his disqualification the 2016 elections destroyed his campaign and wiped his credibility and gave advantage of other political parties.
“All these while my hands were tied. Our people became discouraged they were being taunted and were asked to go home and not to campaign,” he lamented.
Dr Nduom said there was no problem with the nomination but the EC was only trying to get us out of the campaign.
“We must all live with our conscience. Democracy is not about who wins and who loses. It is about the process. If you do things and somebody is declared winner through fraudulent means that cannot be celebrated,” Dr Nduom asserted.
“PPP is on record for supporting the EC to implement the Political Parties Law because if the EC loses credibility it was the nation that suffers,” Dr Nduom explained.
Eva Lokko remembered
Meanwhile, members of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) held a candlelight vigil in Accra to mark the one year demise of the former vice presidential candidate of the party, Madam Eva Lokko.
Madam Lokko passed away in the United States of America on Thursday, October 6, 2016, where she had been flown for medical treatment.
She was a former Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and also the first female vice presidential candidate of the PPP in the 2012 general election.
She was named the parliamentary aspirant of the PPP in the Klottey Korle Constituency for the 2016 election before her demise.
In memory of Madam Lokko, some party members took turns to extol some of the virtues. Notable among them were her steadfastness, boldness, strong will and charisma.
The party’s third Vice Chairperson, Ms Berlinda Bulley, remembered her as a feminist who would not equate age to maturity.
The party’s National Secretary, Murtala Ahmed Mohammed also described her as a woman who taught them to be true to themselves.