April 12, 2024

The governing New Patriotic Party has denied allegations of the National Democratic Congress that the party conniving with the Electoral Commission to transfer one Charles Opoku into the Voters Register of the Assin North Constituency in order to contest the upcoming NPP Parliamentary primaries.

Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communications of the NDC in a statement on Sunday, June 4, claimed the aspirant Charles Opoku is a registered voter in the Tarkwa Nsuame constituency in the Western Region where he voted in the 2020 general elections.

“It is instructive to note that according to Regulation 22 of the Public Elections Regulations 2020 (C.I 127), voter transfer can only be effected for an ordinary citizen not less than 42 days to a public election. More importantly, transfer applications can only be made to the Returning Officer of a public election,” parts of the statement read.

He argued this therefore is against the requirement that a candidate in an election must be a registered voter of the said constituency.

But the NPP National Communications Director, Richard Ahyiagbah, in a swift statement said the NDC’s intention is to mislead Ghanaians ahead of their imminent embarrassing defeat in the Assin North by-election.

“The NPP emphatically debunks the allegations that the Party “is in a plot to illegally insert the name of an unqualified NPP Parliamentary Candidate into the Assin North Register”. Over the years, the NPP has worked hard to maintain its enviable position as the pacesetter of multiparty democracy in Ghana, which includes the strengthening of independent democratic institutions of State like the Electoral Commission. As such, we cannot be the Party that would engage in any acts that would jeopardize the nation’s democratic gains” parts of the NPP statement read.

Mr. Ahiagbah further clarified the NPP is yet to hold its Parliamentary Primaries in the Assin North Constituency to elect the party’s Parliamentary Candidate for the by-election and it could not be true that the party plotting with the EC to illegally insert a name of its Parliamentary aspirant in the Assin North register.

“Since the NDC is deficient in their appreciation of Ghana’s electoral laws, we wish to give them some education on the relevant aspects of the law. Their claim that the NPP is seeking to transfer the name of a registered voter to the Assin North register to qualify him to contest in the parliamentary by-election actually betrays the NDC’s appreciation of Article 94(1)(a) of the 1992 Constitution. Article 94(1)(a) does not require a parliamentary candidate to be registered in the constituency they wish to contest to be viable.”

Richard Ahiagbah stated the Constitution only requires that a candidate be a registered voter, it does not matter where they are registered, adding the Constitution also requires a Candidate to hail from the Constituency he is seeking to contest. “The two Candidates who have filed to contest on the NPP’s ticket in the by-election hail from Assin North and have both resided in that Constituency beyond the minimum period of five years required by the Constitution.

“It is in accordance with this that the Electoral Commission of Ghana only requires a Parliamentary Candidate to make a Statutory Declaration to the effect that he/she is a registered voter simplicita. This can be seen under Part IV of the Parliamentary Nominations Form -2023, which was made available by the EC for aspiring Parliamentary Candidates in the by-election” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission (EC) has also dismissed the claims of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the Commission is attempting to insert the name of one of the NPP’s aspirants into the Assin North voters register ahead of the by-election.

The EC in a statement insisted that the claims of the opposition NDC were false and should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

The Commission further explained that a person does not need to be a registered voter in a particular constituency to enable him or her to contest elections in that constituency.

 

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