The National Democratic Party (NDP) and its flagbearer should get serious and abide by the constitution of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana if they really want to contest in the November 7 polls, the founder of the All People’s Congress (APC), Dr. Hassan Ayariga, has stated.
Dr. Ayariga’s comment follows a threat by the National Democratic Party, led by former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, to drag the EC to court over its intent to disqualify parties that are unable to have offices in at least two-thirds of the districts in the country.
However, Dr. Ayariga said: “The former First Lady is not an ordinary citizen of the country and, for that matter, cannot tell you that she does not know what is happening in our system. She knows better than some of us, but why is she not abiding by the law? Because people think they are above the law. You go searching to be president and do not want to satisfy the constitutional requirement of our land! How do you intend to lead if you cannot follow small things like [abiding by the] constitution,” he told Prince Minkah on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show Thursday, May 19.
Ghana’s Political Parties’ Law stipulates that parties should establish functional offices in at least two-thirds of the country’s 216 metropolises, municipalities, and districts. But many of the country’s 26 parties have fallen short of the requirement, and following a warning by the commission that such parties will be disqualified from participating in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, a number of parties are threatening court action against the EC.
Chairman of the NDP, Dr. Asare Bediako, earlier raised concerns about the EC’s May deadline, by which all parties are to have complied with the requirement or be disqualified from the upcoming polls. He has appealed to the EC to reconsider its decision or “the party will advise itself”.
But Dr. Ayariga argued that: “The best advice they can give themselves is to just withdraw from the presidential race.” To him, any “party which wants Ghanaians to take them seriously must show leadership by obeying the laws”.ghanapoliticsonline. com
“The EC issued the letters way before 30 days. EC alerted them way before 30 days. The office is a necessity and the political parties need them and should not be a constitutional requirement. We as APC went through the EC constitutional requirement and it was not a problem for us. I was just registered two months [ago] and I have the offices. What excuse do they have? The NDP was registered way back in 2012. Within those same two months, we had 144 district offices. Right now as we speak, we have 220 constituency offices. What are the other political parties telling us? They should be serious; they should stop talking, and EC should crack the whip.”