The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has strongly responded to the recent statement by the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission (EC) regarding the eligibility of an unqualified New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant for the Assin North constituency.
In a press release, Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communication Officer of the NDC, criticized the EC's claims and arguments, accusing them of a flawed understanding of their own criteria and basic English language.
According to Gyamfi, the EC's press statement is ridiculous and lacks logic in its content. He argued that the EC failed to comprehend the phrase “of the same Constituency” found in Part 1 of their own nomination form for the Assin North by-election. Gyamfi clarified that the phrase refers to the candidate being nominated and not the nominees themselves.
Quoting the relevant provision, Gyamfi highlighted that the nomination form states, “We the undersigned registered voters in [Constituency] do at this moment nominate [Candidate's Name] ‘of the same constituency' to stand for election as a Member of Parliament, and we at this moment certify that to the best of our knowledge, he/she is qualified to be elected as such.”
Gyamfi expressed his disappointment in the EC's judgment and interpretation of this simple provision, suggesting that their bias has clouded their understanding. He emphasized that anyone with a basic grasp of the English language would understand that the phrase “of the same constituency” refers to the candidate being nominated. In simple terms, the provision requires the nominators of a parliamentary candidate to be from the same constituency as the candidate.
The NDC representative further criticized the EC for attempting to justify their illegal conduct by citing previous instances in other elections. Gyamfi dismissed this rationale, stating that the principle of estoppel cannot negate illegality, and multiple illegalities cannot be considered legality. He argued that past failures and neglect by the EC should not grant them permission to perpetuate such wrongs.
Highlighting Regulation 6(3) of the EC's own Public Election Regulations, 2020 (C.I 127) and the nomination form for the Assin North by-election, Gyamfi affirmed that the NDC is adhering to clear provisions. He called on the EC to amend the law if they have an issue with the interpretation presented by the NDC and urged them to spare Ghanaians from what he described as a “nauseating comedy.”