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General News
NDP’s disqualification is shameful – Kweku Baako 10/21/2012

The disqualification of the National Democratic Party from contesting the December polls, according to Mr Malik Kweku Baako, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, was shameful.

He said it was shocking that the party’s flag-bearer Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings who had demonstrated a determination to contest the 2012 elections, could not do a “basic thing” as properly filling out her nomination forms.

“I was intrigued and surprised when I first heard that the NDP has been disqualified,” he stated on Joy FM and MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday.

“It is a great shame that a party with that kind of character and all the public interest factor that came with it, was unable to fulfill these basic things.”

Ghana’s Electoral Commission disqualified the NDP Thursday after the body found some anomalies in the party’s forms they submitted few hours to the deadline for closing of receiving of nomination forms.

The NDP at a press conference challenged the reasons cited for their disqualification, and threatened to go to court to injunct the electoral process.

For a party that claimed it had the mettle to unseat the ruling party from which it broke away, Mr kweku Baako said the development betrayed the NDP''s tenuous argument and weak structures. He said the party''s plans to resort to a law that has been repealed to contest its exclusion from the elections was unbelievable.

“That could be part of the problem of the lack of readiness of a political party relative to what it ought to do. At this level, there is no excuse for ignorance on enabling regulations that guides your operation and work,” he asserted.

He said the NDP should have shown some diligence and professionalism in filling out the forms to avoid the embarrassment i brought on itself.

“My view was that anybody who forms a political party, and in the circumstances in which the NDP emerged, I would have thought they would do a lot of due diligence, very efficient diligence in how to go about this very preliminary exercise.

"This is not a major exercise but an important and essential requirement, so I was thinking that in terms of organisation, and competence, professionalism you ought not have too much problems with that basic fundamental matter.”
Accusations and counteraccusations

Speaking on the same show, NPP’s Communications Director Nana Akomea appealed to all and sundry not to let the filing process become a burden on the process.

He however appealed to the Electoral Commission to allow a day for those who could not meet the requirement due to some technical challenges to complete the process to put to rest “all the accusations and counter-accusations”.

On his part, Minister of Communications, Haruna Idrisu called on all to respect state institutions like the Electoral Commission, and respecting the rule of law in the country.

He said notice of nominations was published in the state-owned Daily Graphic and agreed with Mr Baako that a party that is desirous of contesting an election should have exercised some diligence in what they do.

Mr Iddrisu felt the NDP after sleeping on their legitimate right to file their forms within the stipulated period would not succeed in their court action.

“I do not see any chance of the NDP participating in the December elections”, he said but was quick to add that “I am not happy and I am not sad about the development.”

For Kofi Adams, former deputy General Secretary of the NDC, since the only place one could resort to when dialogue fails is the court, parties whose nomination forms were rejected, and who believe the rejection was unfair must exercise their right to seek redress in court.

He, however, describe as a “mystery” claims by NPP scribe Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie that president Mahama influenced the NDP’s disqualification.

He wondered how the president would be able to tell that party A or B did not fill this column of the forms well and instruct the EC to disqualify them on the basis of that.

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