The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will today know whether it could tomorrow, have its Presidential and Parliamentary primaries, having applied to the court for abridgement of time for the case brought against it by Dr Kwabena Duffour, one of the flagbearer aspirants.
Director of Legal Affairs, Abraham Amaliba, has disclosed that the court will hear a motion on the presidential primaries today, instead of the initial May 15, which is a Monday.
However, regardless of whether the Court tosses out Dr Duffour’s order, there is more the resistance needed to fight if, particularly the Electing Commission (EC) whose Overseer of Appointive Administrations, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, says that the Commission is yet to be outfitted with the party’s electors’ register.
According to him, “the agreement was that we should have the registers and the ballot papers at least a week to the elections,” however, the NDC’s executives have failed to do so.
Dr Duffuor’s case is that the NDC voters’ register submitted to his team contains discrepancies.
Dr Serebour Quaicoe noted that until Dr Duffour’s injunction is lifted by the court, the EC will not offer its services to the NDC, adding it was to avoid such situations that the EC had urged the party to submit its voters’ register early for all challenges to be addressed timeously.
“So these things should have been made available a long time ago, because we knew that when such things are done you have people petitioning and the rest so we were thinking that if we had gotten it early enough, they would have addressed any challenges that may come out of it.
“There have been instances where we’ll go for the election and at the venue of the election the register will be brought to you and you may have to be making calls so that whilst you’re doing the election new names will be added and subtracted.
“So these things should be a lesson to the political parties that when they’re going to do anything they should [inaudible] ahead of time so that we will not be having challenges in registers…” he said.
But the NDC in a press statement has urged its party faithful and aspirants to keep calm as the party’s legal team handles the situation.
It has disclosed that it is taking all legitimate and legal steps to pave the way for the Presidential and Parliamentary primaries scheduled for tomorrow Saturday, May 13th, 2023.
Towards this end, it is urging its supporters to remain calm as the party, through its legal team, works to resolve the temporary challenge posed by the injunction slapped on it by one of the flagbearer aspirants, Dr Kwabena Duffour.
A statement issued by the party’s General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, late Wednesday night said that “the party is confident that this temporary challenge will be quickly overcome to pave way for the holding of the primaries on schedule”.
It added that “it is our expectation that we shall all put the larger interest of our great party ahead of all considerations, knowing that the good people of Ghana are eagerly looking up to our party, come December 7, 2024, to rescue this nation from the current national collapse”.
Earlier, Director of Legal Affairs, Abraham Amaliba, disclosed that the motion for abridgement of time is crucial for the party because of its planned presidential and parliamentary primaries.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Wednesday, he said “We actually wanted Thursday, but the registry indicated to us that that is difficult because of some issues relating to scanning of the processes that would have to take place. And the judge who is going to preside must have foreknowledge of the process, so the available time has been fixed for Friday.”
He indicated that they would move to have the suit thrown out stating that the party will suffer greatly if the injunction is granted.
The party has invested so much money in this thing. Don’t forget that delegates have started moving to their centres. Those in island communities who have to travel by river for a day and then go and sleep over have started moving, so, if you look at the combined effects and hardship, surely it is the party that will suffer.”
Spokesperson for Dr. Duffuor, Antonio Edem Asinyo has justified the injunction application against the upcoming presidential and parliamentary primaries of the party.
Speaking in an interview on 3FM yesterday, he asked the party leadership to admit that things have not been done right and invite all stakeholders to discuss how to resolve the issues.
In the meantime, he said, the elections scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 13 should be postponed to allow time for the issues to be addressed.
“The simple issue is, we have identified errors, all we are asking for is postponed elections because the time is near.
“As we speak, just last night the Electoral Commission says the NDC has not given them the delegates’ list or photo album to be used for the elections and we are just three or so days for the elections.
“We need to have cool heads, identify that we have not gone certain things right, invite all stakeholders into a meeting, agree on a time frame, and fix it, we do not need to go back and forth on this.”
But Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mustapha Gbande said the election would not be postponed while speaking in an interview on 3FM yesterday.
Mr Gbande said “The elections will not be postponed and I must state it very clearly.”
Regarding the concerns of Dr Duffuor, Mr Gbande explained that “In the absence of the photo album, because of similar concerns they have raised, we have not even submitted the album to the Electoral Commission because by law we are not obliged to go by the album. The album does not form a substantive argument., if indeed they have any challenges.”
Asked by Johnnie Hughes whether he was suggesting that the party did no wrong in not getting the album right, he answered “we are not saying that we didn’t get it right, there was nothing right or wrong.
“As stakeholders, we all have the responsibility to check the system and when you have checked the system and have identified that there is an error, you complain and the same would have to be corrected.
“Don’t forget that when they raised the issues of the litany of errors they have identified… The electoral commission of our party assured that because you are complaining of what has already been given to you we will go back and correct the errors, check them, and then give you a full complement of the album.”
Dr Duffour, a flagbearer aspirant, filed the injunction application at the High Court on Tuesday, May 9 seeking to stop the primaries over concerns about the electoral album.
“The plaintiff avers that the partial delivery of the Photo Album to his representatives on 4th May 2023 was in itself out of time considering the magnitude of the verification exercise required of them before the internal elections of 13th May 2023,” portions of the application said.
The mission group Dr Duffuor prior requested delay of the May 13 Official Primaries over what it depicts as an imperfect register.
A request shipped off the Discretionary Commission, Ghana (EC) and Decisions Council of NDC on Monday, May 8, under the mark of Kofi Kukubor, the Head of Exploration and Methodology with the mission group of Dr Duffuor, expressed that a broad survey of the electors’ register or photograph collection for 220 voting public have recognized a few inconsistencies that render the register deficient or off base.
The mission group expressed going into the political race with such a register sabotages the validity and respectability of the political race and is equipped for making unsalvageable harm the flagbearer confident Dr Kwabena Duffuor.