The Centre for Constitutional Order (CENCORD), a policy think tank for ensuring Constitutional order has taken a swipe at the Election Commission (EC) for usurping powers in vetting the nomination papers of candidates for the elections.
According to CENCORD, there is no section in the Constitution that allows seven days vetting of the nomination papers of the candidates.
Unedited below is the full statement released and signed by Solomon Osei Fosu, a fellow at CENCORD.
Upon the expiry of the nomination period, September 30,2016, the Chairman of the
Electoral Commission of the Republic of Ghana and the Returning Officer for the Presidential
Elections 2016, Charlotte AmaOsei, addressed the nation through the press andstated inter alia; that seventeen (17) Prospective Presidential Candidates for the Election 2016 would have their nomination papers vetted within seven (7) days.
These Candidates would know their fate as whether or not theystand nominated within this seven day vetting period.
The CENCORD respectfully, wishes to inform the nation thatthis is an aberration of the law as captured underthe Public Elections Regulation 2016, (CI 9)Nomination Period
Nomination period means two (2) days, 29 and 30 of September, 2016, as announced by the EC for the delivering to the EC Presidential and Parliamentary Nomination Papers’
Regulation 9 (1) of CI 94 state as follows;
Whenever the nomination paper and the statutory declaration of a candidate are
delivered and the deposit is paid in accordance with these regulations, the candidate shall be considered to stand nominated unless proof is given to the satisfaction of the returning officer of the candidate’s death, withdrawal or disqualification.
From this provision supra, it is clear that when the Prospective Presidential Candidate deliver to EC
1. Nomination paper.
2. Statutory declaration. And
3. Deposit as required by law
That Candidate stands nominated. The only thing that can stand their way is proof of candidate’s death, withdrawal and disqualification’
Sub-regulation 2 states that:
The returning officer shall inform a candidate that the Candidate’s nomination is invalid where
(a) The particulars of the candidate or the persons subscribing to the nomination paper ore d not as required by law; or
(b) The nomination paper is not subsided to as required by law and shall give the candidate the opportunity to make amendments or deny alteration necessary within the stipulated nomination period.
This law provides as follows:
“Administrative bodies and administrative officials shall act fairly and reasonably and comply with requirements imposed on them by law and persons aggrieved by the exercise of such acts and decisions shall have the right to seek redress before a Court or other Tribunal”
The sub-regulation 2 of CI 94 deals with the natural justice principle as captured under article 23 of the 1992 Constitution. The returning officer shall give the candidate an opportunity to make amendment or any alteration necessary within the stipulated nomination period as a requirement imposed on her by the said sub-regulation.
The question that arises is:was any of the candidates given the opportunity to make amendment or any alteration necessary within the stipulated nomination period?
The answer is NO. None of the Candidates was given the opportunity to amend or alter anything on their nomination papers.
Failure to comply with the opportunity to Amend or Alter moreover, sub-regulation 3 states that:
Where a candidate fails to comply with sub-regulation 2, the returning officer shall consider the nomination paper of the candidate as invalid and shall
(a) Endorse and sign on the nomination paper the reasons for that decision and
(b) Inform the Commission
What this means is that if a candidate fails to amend or alter necessary anything when requested by the Returning officer within the stipulated nomination period, the returning officer shall consider the
Nomination paper of the candidate invalid and give reasons for that decision and then inform the
Commission of same Decision by the Commission
Sub-regulation 4 again states that: the Commission shall toke o decision on the matter within seven days.
From the above sequence, the Commission’s decision supra amounts to a review authority of the
Returning officer’s decision of declaring a Nomination Form invalid as captured by regulation 9 (3) of CI 94. The Commission therefore comes in to affirm or deny the invalidity of a nomination paper but not to vet each of the nomination papers as the Electoral commission chair announced to the nation.
Source: The Herald