A private legal practitioner, John Ndebugri is full of praise for the Electoral Commission (EC) and its Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, following the disqualification of 13 presidential aspirants from the race to the Flagstaff House.
“For the first time, the Electoral Commission is applying the law and I applaud the Electoral Commission under the leadership of Madam Charlotte Osei and I encourage her to keep it up and look more closely on all aspects of the electoral process so there will be sanity in this country of ours,” Mr. Ndebugri said on Eyewitness News.
The former MP for Zebilla believes the EC’s handling of presidential aspirants over the years has been lax as “some charlatans have gotten onto the ballot paper and they just have made some people lose interest in the politics of this country.”
“They just break the rules, cut corners and they get themselves onto the ballot paper just for the purpose of egoistic extension of their being and so on.”
The EC on Monday disqualified 13 aspirants from contesting the elections due to what it described as failure by the affected aspirants to meet the necessary requirements in filling their forms.
Among the disqualified aspirants were Hassan Ayariga of the All People’s Congress (APC), the People’s National Convention’s (PNC) Dr. Edward Mahama, the Progressive People’s Party’s (PPP) Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, and 10 others.
The disqualification left four aspirants qualified for now including the Presidential candidates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party’s Ivor Greenstreet, and Jacob Osei Yeboah [JOY], an independent candidate.
Following the disqualification of the candidates, arguments have been made that the EC did not comply with the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 94 because it failed to contact the candidates to inform them about the errors, and to allow them time to make the necessary changes on their forms.
But Mr. Ndebugri noted that “the stipulated nomination period was 29th and 30th September 2016 so if you filed your thing at 8 am on the 29th, you had quite some time for you to be invited to come and explain your error. That will be between 29th 8 am and 5pm on the 30th of September.”
The concerns notwithstanding, he indicated that there should be little room for error allowed for persons aspiring for the highest office of the land.
“In any case, are you not to complete your forms diligently? You want to be President and you want the Electoral Commission to invite you to correct your mistakes;” he quizzed.