The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has said that the Inter-party advisory Committee (IPAC) is not the platform to resolve issues based on legality for disqualifying presidential candidate.
EC chair, Mrs Charlotte Osei explained that even though the IPAC platform is meant for political parties to make contributions on the elections, any legal issues must be decided by the law courts.
Mrs Osei was reacting to a question during an interview on BBC Africa on Thursday, October 3. She told the host, Akwasi Sarpong that the decision to disqualify 13 presidential candidates over nomination form errors was based on the law therefore it could not have been resolved at IPAC as suggested by some critics.
“How is IPAC going to deal with that? IPAC cannot deal with matters involving illegalities that is a matter for the court. We did not go to court remember; the law says the commission shall take a decision. The chairperson of the commission is the returning officer for presidential elections, so my job is to receive and examine the forms and if there is any legal basis where the forms cannot be accepted, you report to the commission and the entire commission takes a decision; it is not a decision to be taken by IPAC, if you take it to IPAC anybody can challenge you, the commission has to act in accordance with the law,” she explained.
According to her, the law outlines the requirements to qualify as a candidate therefore it is not a decision to be taken by IPAC else “that will be the commission abdicating its legal responsibilities to the people of Ghana to IPAC”.
She assured Ghanaians that the law suits against the commission will not hamper the 2016 polls.
“We will not allow law suits to subvert the process and so we are going to get a definitive ruling from the Supreme Court likely this week; at the latest, early next week, but in the meantime, we have started the process of printing the parliamentary ballot papers to make up some of the time and so we are in a good place to meet the December 7 date,” she added.
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