19 November 2012

Ghana: NDP to Abandon Presidential Ambition

The National Democratic Party (NDP) is gradually abandoning its bid to use the court in getting its presidential nominee enlisted on the rolls of presidential candidates for the 2012 General Elections, as they are resorting to raising human rights violation against the Electoral Commission (EC) before the Human Rights Court.

Last Friday, November 16, 2012, when the party was expected to move its original application of "Mandamus" in getting its presidential nominee, former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings approved by the EC, it sought a further adjournment of the case to enable the filing processes be fully completed.

Meanwhile, the rejected presidential nominee of the NDP, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings arrived late in court and only met her lawyers at the staircase of the court building.

However, one of the lawyers of the party, Mr. Josiah Aryeh, told journalists that in view of the circumstances of the case and considering the closeness of the election, the party had amended its statement of claim and will, therefore, be seeking the court to order that their rights have been violated following the EC's rejection of their presidential nomination forms.

According to him, the respondents are yet to be served with copies of their new statement of claim filed before the court.

The court, therefore, heeded the party's request for adjournment and fixed November 20, 2012 for the next appearance.

The NDP, at the last adjourned date had indicated that at the time it filed the motion for 'mandamus' against the EC on October 25, this year, it was not privy to certain essential information that would help in executing its agenda before the court.

According to counsel for the NDP, his client wanted to include the latest information gathered, following which the court granted them time to amend their statement of claim.

The NDP had filed an application for Mandamus before the court, seeking to compel the EC to allow its flagbearer, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings to contest the up-coming presidential election.

The former First Lady was disqualified by the EC, following her inability to complete filing processes in connection to her nomination as a result of the disqualification; the NDP had come to court seeking a judicial review.

The applicant had questioned the right of the EC in disqualifying its presidential nominee and had sought an order from the court to compel the EC to include its presidential nominee on the list of presidential candidates for the election slated for December 7, this year.

The applicant was of the view that the decision of the EC to disqualify its candidate violates the principles of democratic governance and also infringes on the fundamental human rights it enjoys under the Constitution.

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