The Electoral Commission has filed for a review of an Accra High Court ruling which ordered the EC to allow the Progressive People’s Party the opportunity to make alteration to the nomination forms of their presidential candidate for the 2016 elections.
The EC, in bid to quash the ruling has invoked the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in their appeal.
Portions of a statement from the Electoral Commission said: “Having carefully studied the contents of the judgment, we respectfully disagree with the High Court judge’s decision on several essential legal and public policy grounds.”
“The Commission is of the firm conviction backed by the law, that candidates seeking the highest office of the land, must take full responsibility for ensuring that their nomination forms meet the standard in form and substance, required by the law.”
An Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, last week ordered the EC to allow the PPP’s flagbearer Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom to make the necessary correction on his nomination forms submitted to the commission.
The court said the EC did not give the PPP candidate a fair opportunity to amend mistakes on the party’s nomination forms. Dr. Nduom and 11 other candidates were disqualified from the race over anomalies detected on their forms.
Read the EC statement in full:
REVIEW OF HIGH COURT DECISION
The Electoral Commission has completed a review of the judgment of the High Court, Accra dated 28th October, 2016 in the case of the Republic v Mrs. Charlotte Osei & Electoral Commission; Ex parte Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, numbered GT1401/2016. Having carefully studied the contents of the judgment, we respectfully disagree with the High Court judge’s decision on several essential legal and public policy grounds.
The Commission is of the firm conviction backed by the law, that candidates seeking the highest office of the land, must take full responsibility for ensuring that their nomination forms meet the standard in form and substance, required by the law.
The Commission is further of the view that falsified signatures on nomination forms constitute a matter for criminal investigation and are not mere anomalies or clerical errors, which should be pointed out to candidates for corrections to be effected.
The Commission believes that, as in other jurisdictions, presidential candidates must ensure the accuracy of the information on documents which they present under oath to public institutions. Failure to place this burden on the shoulders of the candidates, has serious implications for our democratic growth and electoral justice.
In the interest of public policy and the credibility of the electoral process, the Commission has today 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.
We believe it is in the overall national interest and on the grounds of public policy that the Supreme Court provides clarity on this matter. A judgment from the Apex Court would effectively bring finality to the issue once and for all.
In the interest of national peace and cohesion, we respectfully implore the Highest Court of the land to determine our application expeditiously in accordance with the earlier directive of Her Ladyship the Chief Justice and for the sake of the electoral calendar.
ERIC KOFI DZAKPASU
Head of Communications