The General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has criticised incumbent Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle, Nii Armah Ashitey, for fighting his opponent, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, in court, instead of the party which gave former President Jerry John Rawlings’ daughter the all-clear to contest the party’s primary, which she won.
Mr Ashitey filed a joint suit with fellow defeated candidate, Nii Johnson Coleman, at the Accra High Court to challenge the eligibility of Dr Agyeman-Rawlings after she beat the two of them in the parimary.
Nii John Coleman later withdrew from the case, leaving Mr Ashitey as the only plaintiff.
Despite her victory, the Electoral Commission has said its records show Dr Agyeman-Rawlings is not a registered voter. That has been the basis for Mr Ashitey’s court fight with her.
But Mr Asiedu Nketia, in an interview with Ekow Mensah-Shalders on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday 13 April 2016, indicated that: “Zanetor did not qualify herself to sit there. Somebody qualified her, so, if you have a problem, it should be that somebody, which is me.”
He further explained that if the issue was “about registration with the Electoral Commission (EC), there is always a limited registration period”.
“If we are doing our primaries before the last registration to the election, we do not use the registration or non-registration as a means of disqualifying people; it is only when the primary is after the last registration period. In that case, if you emerge as a candidate, you cannot file with the EC.”
According to him, the party has guidelines for the process. “Before you go for a position, there are things you can term ineligibilities and others you can term disqualifications. Mostly, things that are ineligibilities are things that can be corrected.”
He said the party “allows people, who are affected by ineligibilities to still begin the process and then correct themselves when it comes to the point of filing nominations with the EC”.
He was emphatic that the issue “is not about Zanetor, but the party and how we handle our primaries all over the place”.