The Electoral Commission has issued a statement regarding a circulating Notice of Poll on social media that claims to be associated with the upcoming Kumawu By-Election. The notice features the photographs of two Independent Candidates dressed in kente cloth and depicts a bird as their symbol.
The Commission would like to inform the public that both Independent Candidates submitted photographs of themselves in kente attire along with a picture of a bird as their chosen symbol to the District Officer in Kumawu.
Based on this information, a draft Notice of Poll was prepared, featuring the photographs, attires, and symbols of the Independent Candidates. However, it is important to note that this draft was never approved by the Commission nor gazetted. A Notice of Poll only becomes legally binding once it has been gazetted. The version circulating on social media is merely a draft that reflects the photographs and symbols submitted to the District Officer.
Upon realizing this discrepancy, the Commission advised the second Independent Candidate, who was the last to submit his Nomination Form, to change his symbol. However, the candidate refused to comply with the advice, leading the Commission to invoke Regulation 14(1) (b) and (c) of the Public Elections Regulations, 2020, C.I. 127, which states the following:
“Where an election is contested, the Commission shall, as soon as practicable after the nomination day; (b) allocate to a candidate who is not sponsored by a registered political party a symbol, color, or combination of colors chosen by that candidate; or (c) allocate a symbol, color, or combination of colors that the Commission considers appropriate in any other case.”
Consequently, the Commission has assigned the second Independent Candidate the symbol of a hoe, which will be reflected in the officially approved and gazetted Notice of Poll displayed throughout Kumawu.
The Kumawu By-election follows the death of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Philip Basoah.
Mr Basoah died on Monday, March 27 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, where he was on admission for a serious ailment. He was 54-years-old.
Following the death of Mr. Basoah, the EC in a statement on Monday, April 17, 2023, signed by its Chairperson, Jean Mensa, asked interested parties who wish to contest the seat to download nomination forms from the EC's website from April 14, 2023 to May 5, 2023.
The EC also set May 23, 2023, as the date for the Kumawu By-election.
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