Ghana: Ghana media once again dominated by election cases in courts

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – The Ghanaian media again focused on election cases at the courts following the disqualification of 13 presidential candidates by the Electoral Commission (EC) for various errors and other infractions in their papers.

And on Friday, another candidate, Hassan Ayariga of All People’s Congress (APC), became the second after Papa Kwesi Nduom of Progressive People’s Party (PPP) to win his case at the High Court in Accra, when the judge directed the EC to allow him to correct the errors on his forms to allow him to contest the 7 December election.

Graphic Online, reporting the story under the headline, 'Court quashes Hassan Ayariga's disqualification', said the court quashed the decision of the EC to disqualify the presidential aspirant of APC and ordered it to give him the opportunity to correct the errors on his forms within a limited time.

According to the court, presided over by Ms Justice Barbara Tetteh-Charway, the failure of the EC to notify Mr Ayariga of the errors on his forms and give him an opportunity to correct them was in violation of the law. The EC did not act "fairly and reasonably" in disqualifying the APC presidential aspirant, the judge said.

The state-owned Graphic newspaper in another story under the headline, 'EC, Nduom clash again as Commission heads for Supreme Court', reported that the EC had gone to the Supreme Court to contest a High Court order quashing the disqualification of Dr Nduom, from contesting the 7 December election.

The application is invoking the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to quash the 28 October ruling of Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, who directed the EC to permit Dr Nduom to effect corrections on his nomination forms.

The EC’s application has been mounted on three grounds in the writ invoking the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. It said the High Court committed an error of law apparent on the face of the record, it wrongly assumed jurisdiction of the matter, as well as exceeded its jurisdiction.

The EC said: “In the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process”, it had filed an application at the Supreme Court “to quash the High Court decision and seek clarity on the relevant aspects of the law on candidate nominations”.

According to the EC, it was in the “overall national interest and on the grounds of public policy that the Supreme Court provides clarity on this matter.

“A judgement from the Apex Court would effectively bring finality to the issue once and for all,” the statement said.

It accordingly pleaded with the court to, in the interest of national peace and cohesion, determine the application expeditiously in accordance with the earlier directive of the Chief Justice “so that the electoral calendar is saved”.

Meanwhile, Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs. Charlotte Osei has given the assurance that the December polls will be held as scheduled in spite of the legal suits challenging the EC’s decision to disqualify 13 candidates.

The commission has been sued by four political parties - National Democratic Party, All People’s Congress, Independent People’s Party and Progressive People’s Party.

The Graphic in its story with the headline, 'Dec 7 polls on course despite legal suits – EC boss', reported that the Commission had set in motion the printing of ballot papers for the parliamentary election and was waiting for the legal suits to be cleared before going ahead to print those of the presidential election.

“We will not allow lawsuits to subvert the process and so we are going to get a definitive ruling from the Supreme Court ... at the latest, early next week, but in the meantime, we have started the process of printing the parliamentary ballot papers to make up some of the time and so we are in a good place to meet the December 7 date.”

She insisted the commission did not err in its decision to disqualify the candidates as the parties were saying.
-0- PANA MA/AR 5Nov2016

05 november 2016 08:24:08

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