The governing New Patriotic Party(NPP) has emphatically debunked 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”.
The National Communication Officer for opposition NDC, Sammy Gyamfi is alleging that the NPP and the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) are planning to insert the name of an unqualified candidate into Assin North Voters’ register.
In a statement, the NDC’s Communication Officer indicated that the illegal move is to aid one Charles Opoku to contest in the NPP Parliamentary primaries in selecting their candidate for the upcoming Assin North by-election.
But the NPP in response said it has over the years 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, the party cannot be the one that would engage in any acts that would jeopardize the nation’s democratic gains.
The NPP clarified that it has no Parliamentary Candidate for Assin North as it is yet to hold Parliamentary Primary in the Assin North Constituency to elect the Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for the by-election.
“It therefore beggars belief how the NDC is able to determine our Parliamentary Candidate ahead of time, and to suggest that we are plotting with the EC to illegally insert his name 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,” a statement signed by the NPP Director of Communications, Richard Ahiagbah said.
It noted that the Constitution only requires that a candidate be a registered voter, it does not matter where they are registered. 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 added that 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.
“Unlike the NDC, we are focused on selecting a qualified and capable candidate, one who carries no legal baggage like the NDC’s Mr. James Gyakye Quayson, to represent the good people of Assin North. The NPP wishes to assure Ghanaians, particularly the people of Assin North that it is committed to upholding and defending the 1992 Constitution,” the statement ended.